Last week we hosted a Higher Education Evening, the purpose of which was to raise awareness, celebrate success and encourage greater participation in Higher Education within Havering.
The event allowed us to boost our profile and awareness of our HE provision to the guests in attendance, which included colleagues from Linking London and the local council, as well as the Deputy Mayor of Havering. We were also delighted to welcome Professor Martin Doel of UCL as our guest of honour, who delivered a fantastic presentation (picture above in action).
Martin’s speech, which you can listen to at the bottom of this article, focused on ‘being different’; how the provision of Higher Education at Colleges differs to that at traditional universities. Here at Havering, we differ in that we have smaller class sizes and higher contact hours, for example. We pride ourselves on this, and the fact that our Higher Education courses are accessible, flexible and affordable for learners who are unable to, or don’t want to, follow the traditional university route.
These advantages of our Higher Education provision were reinforced by the student success testimonies. Each of them praised the passion of our staff and the flexibility that allowed them to fit their studies in around work, family and other commitments.
Donna Pike, our Head of Higher Education, said of the event:
The evening was a successful event and we hope it will raise the profile of Higher Education within Havering and beyond. It is never too late to start learning, and we are confident that people were able to realise this.
Earlier this month, our Student Services team and Students’ Union once again joined forces to host the 9th annual Students’ Union Variety Awards (SUVA).
The awards are a fantastic way of recognising and celebrating the success of students and staff alike. It has been a consistently successful event and this year was no different.
The area of interest for this year’s awards was homelessness, with great efforts being made to promote awareness of it and raise money (a total of £236) for Hope 4 Havering, a night shelter for the borough’s homeless. In 2014, the charity received 221 referrals in comparison to 133 in 2012, most of which had spent time sleeping rough before accessing the night shelter.
The evening was filled with entertainment from Chris Daley (featured on the Voice 2019), Dominic Nyarirangwe (Havering College’s very own Spoken Word Artist and President of the Students’ Union), RED (Singer and songwriter who featured on the X Factor 2017) and Mark Angels (musician). The hosts Maria Chamberlain and Nambuwa Akafumba, also of the Students’ Union, brought a sense of flare and professionalism to the event, making the evening extra special.
There were a total of fifteen awards which included Most Dedicated Student, Triumph over Adversities, Most Inspirational Staff Member and Lifetime Achievement Award just to name a few. All winners have demonstrated a commendable level of dedication and enthusiasm over the past academic year and were very worthy of their prizes.
Assistant Principal Catherine Foley said of the event:
It was an excellent evening, I really enjoyed it. Both myself and Ruth, a College governor, were highly impressed with all the students and we commented on how far they have come on their own personal journeys and developing in confidence along the way.
The Students’ Union extends their special thanks to all students, staff and guests who contributed to the event and made it possible. Here’s to another exciting evening next year!
One of our plumbing students recently received the very first Chris Sneath bursary.
Alfie Adams, a Level 2 Plumbing student, scooped the bursary on Monday 11th March at our World Plumbing Day event. He was also awarded first prize in the level 2 competition during National Apprenticeship Week (pictured above).
The bursary was presented by Chris Sneath himself; an MBE-recipient who has been involved with the plumbing sector for decades.
He has been the director of many companies including looking after all London Royal Palaces, chaired or been a trustee of others including PHAB UK Ltd, and is now a Fellow at a number of high profile industry institutes.
Most notably, he has been a past Chair, Upper Warden and Master of the Worshipful Company of Plumbers – one of the most ancient of the Livery Companies of the City of London with a history tracing back to 1365.
Chris’ expertise and service to the industry is truly commendable and it is a huge privilege to have his support of our Plumbing Centre of Excellence, hence, his choice to gift us with the first ever bursary.
The bursary will allow Alfie to enrol on CIBSE courses of his choice and explore additional training in a variety of subjects including new materials, technology and innovation and methods of installation but to name a few. He will be able to further the knowledge he has acquired through his apprenticeship and increase his employability.
The bursary is Chris’ way of giving back to the industry that has provided so much for him and committing to the advancement of apprentices. It is a fantastic initiative that we hope will continue for many years.
Rennie Llewellyn, programme manager for plumbing, said:
We are very grateful for the bursary and we do not doubt that Alfie will use it to his full advantage. The support of industry leaders such as Chris is imperative in shaping the plumbers of tomorrow.
Leading building products manufacturer Forterra launched Bricklaying Forterra Females (BFF) on Monday, a groundbreaking competition that took place as part of a wider construction skills day to kick off our National Apprenticeship Week activities.
BFF is a brand new national competition which aims to find the best female student bricklayers in the country, whilst encouraging more girls and women to consider careers in bricklaying or construction. Statistics show that women currently make up just 2% of hands-on construction workers in the UK, a figure which has barely changed for over 15 years.
The competition saw four female student bricklayers from colleges across the UK compete for six hours to build an International Women’s Day-themed competition piece. The pieces were judged by Christian Hatherall-Good, Head of Construction Curriculum at Brooklands College in Weybridge, and our very own brickwork lecturer Demetrios Savvides.
17-year-old Naomi Hamilton of Brooklands College was crowned the winner, followed closely by Charlotte Springer, also of Brooklands College, and Tangina Choudhury from Barnfield College coming in at third.
Sector Skills Advisor Bob Noseda, who was instrumental in organising the competition, said:
We’re very proud to have hosted the first BFF competition. Every national competition has to start somewhere, and we will hopefully be able to look back on today as a legacy event.
The competition received further support from the Brick Development Association and the Association of Brickwork Contractors. Such backing from industry leaders helps to raise the importance and profile of events like this one, particularly to encourage greater female participation in construction trades.
Kerri Chambers, who herself won a bricklaying competition we previously hosted and is now a successful Assistant Quantity Surveyor for a London construction firm, said:
The industry is always looking for more people to join up, and these days there are more options for women who want to get involved and build a career in the sector. It’s great that a company like Forterra is helping to raise the profile of women in bricklaying by organising the BFF competition. I began my career as a bricklayer when I was 19, and ten years on I’ve managed to progress in the industry.
This competition will be succeeded by Forterra’s Best in London Brick competition on March 29th, which we will also be hosting.
Our Student Services team recently hosted two volunteering fair days for both students and staff.
The aim of the fair days was to get as many students and staff as possible to make a pledge to the #iwill campaign with a local charity or organisation and commit to some volunteering. Ultimately, we wanted people to realise that they could be the change their local community needs.
The fairs were kicked off with a talk from a youth ambassador from the Step Up to Serve charity (pictured above). She spoke about how and why she got into volunteering, the change it has brought to her life, and why everyone should become volunteers in their communities.
Students from different courses, backgrounds and interests then pledged to get involved in making a difference with causes that matter to them using the #iwill campaign pledge cards. There were various organisations present including Tapestry, Saint Francis Hospice and NCS – The Challenge amongst others.
The types of pledges ranged from the giving of time to posting about community issues on social media and trying to support local young people on said issues. One student pledged to ‘make a change to better [her] life and the lives of others in [her] community.’
Student Development Worker Gemma-Louise Piggott, who was instrumental in organising the fair days, said:
The fairs were a great opportunity for staff and students alike to realise how big a difference the littlest actions can make. If every person decided to make one change to benefit the community, then we could see real change in the places we call home.
Overall, the fair days were a great success and a lot of interest was gauged. What will you pledge to do?