STAFF and students at Havering College are celebrating after being awarded the 'Contribution to the Local Community Award' at the 2015 TES FE Awards.
The award was presented in recognition of the "sheer scale, range and impact" of college projects which have "visible benefits for the local area".
The judges praised Havering College's entry as the "strongest in a solid field" with community projects spanning most curriculum areas through which students develop skills through real tasks.
The national award was presented at a glittering black tie event hosted by the comedian, novelist and TV presenter, David Baddiel at Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane, London, on Friday, February 27th.
More than 500 guests gathered to celebrate excellence in the further education sector across 13 award categories.
Havering College principal Maria Thompson said: "We are so proud to win this prestigious national award. It is a tribute to the hard work of staff who devise and deliver projects which are of great benefit to the local community while helping learners to develop valuable work skills."
Havering College's entry focused on seven of the many more projects it delivers. These included:
- The annual community performance staged in a West End theatre with a cast of over 200 young people including pupils from special needs schools.
- Construction projects undertaken by students such as refurbishing classrooms/ facilities at schools and the building of a church wall.
- The Saturday Engineering Club which gives budding engineers a taster of practical skills.
- The Romford Art Trail based on the designs of Graphic Design students offered residents and visitors a cultural walking trail around Romford Town Centre.
- An annual Schools' Young Chef Competition to promote healthy eating, cooking from fresh ingredients and raise career aspirations.
- Havering Asks - an annual Question Time-style debate staged by the college to engage young people in Havering with local and political issues affecting their lives. It is directed, filmed and streamed live by Media students as an exceptional learning experience.
- The Bungalow – a specialist transition centre for students with severe learning disabilities – which was opened in partnership with Havering Council.
The winning citation stated: "Each initiative arises from a strong relationship and dialogue with the community, addressing genuine needs imaginatively and effectively...Havering seeks to raise aspirations and break down barriers within the community."
The judges were impressed by Havering College's "creative application of the skills and knowledge of staff and students to add to its local community; culturally, economically and educationally."
THE TES FE Award is the second accolade for Havering College which was named 'Best in the Community' in this year's Havering Business Awards.