Catering students at Bath College meet top chefs and training providers

Catering students at Bath College have spent an inspiring few days meeting top chefs and training providers.


The college used its links with catering and hospitality experts to organise sessions with industry heavyweights for employability week.


Students met professionals from independent businesses, including Claire Wilkins, from the Olive Tree, and Stuart Ash, head chef at Woods Restaurant.






They took part in customer service training with The Pig near Bath and learnt how to cook on the go with soldiers from 105 Battalion Reme.


Students also welcomed Andy Mackenzie, executive chef at The Exclusive Chefs’ Academy, who spoke to them about training at the academy.


Bath College already has two former students studying at the Chef’s Academy, run by Exclusive Hotels and Venues Group.


Sam Graham and Lewis Sparey were selected out of hundreds of applicants to start training at the academy in 2014 and 2015.


Lewis, now 20-years-old, started his training working with award-winning executive chef Richard Davies at the Manor House Hotel in Castle Combe.


He said: “It’s definitely not in any way shape or form easy work, you get pushed to get the best out of you, and you’re expected to rise to the opportunity you’ve been given.


“It’s been a really good experience and one that has definitely given me a boost.”






Mr Mackenzie said: “We come to the college because we want to find talented chefs and we want to raise awareness.


“We need to nurture the young and they do a great job of this at Bath College, as we know from the track record we have already.”


George Ormond, 17, is studying for a level 3 diploma at Bath College and is thinking of applying for the Chef’s Academy.


He said: “It’s good to meet the people running training schemes we’re looking to apply to next year and to meet all the suppliers. You wouldn’t get that normally.”


Bath College lecturer Kean Maslan said: “Employability week is a great opportunity for the students to talk to people about their chef experience.


“They need to hear what these top chefs were doing at the age of 16 to make their goals appear obtainable.”


Bath College student starts work as a trainee site manager at Saw Close


A teenager from Bath College has started work as a trainee site manager at a £19 million casino development in the city.


Tom Fortune, 19, is working two days a week at Saw Close, the location for a new casino, hotel and restaurant complex.


The Level 3 construction student impressed during an interview with Sanctus Ltd, which is carrying out remediation work at the site.


He will be shadowing site manager John Cossins-Price until April and will continue with his course at Bath College for the rest of the week.


Tom, from Trowbridge, chose to study at Bath College after completing his A-levels at Warminster School.


He said: “I had an interest in construction, my parents have done renovations. I could have gone to university, but I chose to come to college instead.


“When I was at school things were focused towards going to university, but there are a lot of different options. I feel more set up for a career now.


“It’s a good opportunity and it fitted into college. It’s a small site, but there’s a lot going on – a casino, hotel and two restaurants.


“Everyone at the head office seemed nice and friendly, I met the managing director. I think I will learn a lot and I can see myself doing a job like this in the future.”


Saw Close


Gloucestershire-based company Sanctus is undertaking the enabling works at Saw Close and utilising experts from Cotswolds Archaeology for the archaeological investigation.


In October, archaeologists discovered a clay pipe tobacco factory dating back to the 18th century, as well as pipes inscribed with workers’ initials.


A protective membrane has now been placed over the factory before builders from Mi-Space, part of Midas Group, start work.


Rob Lucas, Construction Design Manager at Sanctus, interviewed Tom for the trainee site manager position.


He believes there could be an opportunity for him to continue working with Sanctus, or continue at the site with Mi-space.


He said: “We’re always keen to take on youngsters in this industry because they are few and far between these days.


“He had gone the extra mile and achieved his CSCS card of his own accord. We will utilise his IT skills and his common sense, and will train him onsite.


“It’s down to him. Sanctus is undertaking the enabling works contract in advance of the construction phase, which will be carried out by Mi-space.


“The works will include archaeological investigation, demolition, soil remediation and temporary façade restraint works.


“Tom may have the opportunity to see the project through to completion with Mi-space. It’s a big opportunity.”


Bath College Futures, the enterprise and employability team at Bath College, supported students applying for the Sanctus job.


They received advice about writing their own cover letter and CV, as well as preparing for an interview.


Louise Croft, careers and employability manager, said: “We were delighted when Bath College was approached with the offer of this traineeship for one of our students.


“The Futures Team is always keen for local employers to contact us if they are looking to recruit potential talent from our students.”


To get in touch e-mail Futures@bathcollege.ac.uk or call (01225) 328501.


Bath College praised by QAA review team


Bath College has been praised in a new report published by the higher education watchdog.


A team of reviewers for the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) visited Bath College in October 2015.


The purpose of the review was to judge whether standards at the college match up to rigorous national standards.


Reviewers said Bath College is meeting the highest standard possible and also praised the college’s music production course.


They found its academic standards, the quality and enhancement of its student learning opportunities, and the quality of information about its learning opportunities, all meet UK expectations.


Bath College’s music production course was identified as an example of good practice for other colleges and universities.


Reviewers said the course “gives students access to people working successfully in the industry and cutting edge facilities, enabling them to develop their academic, personal and professional potential.”


They said: “Bath College sees employability as being of strategic importance. Employer links are strong in most courses providing opportunities for students to gain practical skills and increase their employment prospects.


“Local employers are engaged with, and supportive of, the college. The college has clear strategies and effective practices for developing and promoting employability skills and activities for its students.”


Mark Smithers, learning co-ordinator for music technology, was pleased to hear the review team’s comments on music provision at Bath College.


He said: “We have forged many links with local employers and music students regularly undertake work-based learning and complete real industry briefs.


“This has allowed us to prepare students for employment and nurture important contacts within the field.


“At Bath College we are very lucky to have state of the art facilities and staff with years of industry experience. It’s nice to hear the positive comments from the QAA review team.”


QAA’s higher education reviews are carried out by experts from other universities, colleges and a student reviewer.


A successful review allows a college to display the QAA Quality Mark, indicating to UK and international students that it meets national requirements for standards and quality.


Bath College principal Matt Atkinson said: “We are delighted with this positive review of our higher education provision and are pleased that the review team recognised that our provision, which is highly focused on employment and job outcomes, meets expected standards.”


The review also made some recommendations for improvement, including clarifying the appeals process within the college admissions policy. It was recommended the college adopt a consistent approach to making external examiner reports available to all students.


Judy Lye-Forster, vice-principal for quality and students, said: “The college constantly strives to improve provision and we will action plan around the points identified to ensure that these recommendations are met.


“Students can be confident that if they apply here they can get a good qualification. The QAA looks at all higher education providers, it’s not just further education, so the standards are very high. We’re being judged alongside all higher education providers across the country.”


Careers advice inspires Bath mum to re-take English and maths GCSEs


Speaking to a careers adviser inspired Bath mum Lee Paget to return to college and re-take her GCSEs at the age of 40.


Mother-of-four Lee is studying for her English and maths GCSEs after meeting careers adviser Helen Jones at a Bath College open day.


She first attended Bath College as a teenager, to study hairdressing for two years, and hopes re-taking her GCSEs will lead to a new opportunity.


Mrs Paget initially wanted to study midwifery and started volunteering at The Royal United Hospital in Bath to gain experience.


She changed her mind after volunteering, but is now a breastfeeding peer support worker and feels positive about her future.


Mrs Paget, a freelance hairdresser who lives in Newbridge, said: “I’ve always worked in hairdressing, or when the children were little, caring.


“I thought I wanted to go into midwifery but I didn’t know how to go about it. I met up with Helen, started chatting and got an appointment booked.


“Helen advised me what to do: first of all to get my GCSEs, to get some volunteering experience and to get a CV on the go. We started from scratch.”


Bath College offers free impartial careers advice through the National Careers Service, including help to find the right courses and training.


Mrs Paget, who will finish studying for her GCSEs in June, is taking two-hour maths and English lessons each week.


She has been an inspiration to her son, who plans to take a year-long carpentry course at the college.


She said: “It helped me put my life in perspective. It just makes you aware of the skills that you already have and it’s been a bit of a confidence builder.


“I needed to take my GCSEs regardless, but we will see what other options become available.”


To speak to a careers adviser call (01225) 328720.


Former student returns to pass on her skills during employability week


Former student Michele Broom returned to her old classroom to pass on her skills during employability week at Bath College.


The week was a chance for students studying  spa therapy, complementary therapies, barbering, and hair and beauty to meet industry experts.


Activities included Hopi ear candling, eyelash extensions, ear piercing, nail art, Pilates, crystal therapy and threading.


Ms Broom, who runs Bath Stress Angels, showed students the basics of bamboo massage, a technique used to  break down tension and stretch tight muscles.


She was in her forties when she decided to switch careers and enrol on a two year complementary therapies course at Bath College.


Fourteen years later, she is a qualified teacher and has her own business providing chair massage sessions for local companies.


Ms Broom said: “I took a gap year at the age of 40 and then went back into education. I was a fundraiser before and I was in sales.


“I became ill, took a year off and I thought ‘I will stop working at the sharp end and do something that feeds my soul rather than my bank account’.


“It’s great to be back at the college. It’s a privilege, that’s the word. You have an empathy with the students because you’ve been in their position.


“I’m so impressed because they picked it up just like that.”






During the week, students met industry experts from Eve Taylor, Eden Rose Salon, MAC Cosmetics and Centre Parcs.


They spoke to Celia Stewart, from Neal’s Yard Remedies, as well as employees from Lush, Younique and Hacketts, Bath.


Bath College lecturer Diana Rowe taught Ms Broom when she started studying in 2002.


She said: “What’s really nice about Michele coming back is that she’s bringing something new to us. It’s really nice to have things go full circle and have her teaching my students.


“We come across a lot of our ex-students. It’s lovely when they come back and teach us their skills – it’s the ultimate compliment.”


Jolene Garside, salon manager at Bath College, said: “It’s been great really because we’ve had so many really experienced and qualified people in.


“The students meet people from a lot of different companies who are working in industry. The skills that they show them are fantastic.


“It’s a great chance to increase your knowledge.”


Vocal coach and music lecturer Lee Risdale to lead new six week singing course


A version of this article was published in the Bath Weekend magazine on January 7.


For Vocal Coach and Music Lecturer Lee Risdale, the key to becoming a successful singer is passion and persistence.


Lee, a professional vocalist for two Soul bands, started work at Bath College with a real desire to work with other singers.


Over the past few years, he has tracked the careers of former students whose musical talents have made it into the newspaper headlines.


The list includes Stos Goneos, from Bite the Buffalo, Chris Georgiadis, singer for the rock band Turbowolf, and Matt Sellors, part of the Bristol-based ska punk band Yes Sir Boss!


Most famously, Lee voice coached singer songwriters Gabrielle Aplin and Laura Doggett, who came to Bath College to study music performance at the age of 16.


Chart-topper Gabrielle, who signed a deal with Parlophone Records early in 2012, found herself in the spotlight after covering Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s The Power of Love for John Lewis’ Christmas advertising campaign.


The 23-year-old keeps in touch with Laura, who was in the year below her at Bath College and found fame when her single Old Faces was used for the new Broadchurch trailer in 2014.


“I could tell they both had their own distinct style and they were each talented for sure,” says Lee, who is researching what makes a truly successful singer.


“Laura had a distinct voice for a female – quite a low and rich-toned voice – and I didn’t want to change that. Sometimes you know when someone has a unique quality. It’s about exploring that quality and making opportunities to develop it.


“Gabrielle’s voice is stylistically more folk/rock. It had a lighter style at first and very soulful, then it got a lot stronger from touring.


“My favourite song of Gabby’s is ‘Home.’ She performed it at the Christmas lights in Bath. When I first heard it I thought ‘That’s a really good song. I thought ‘that deserves to do well.’.”


Lee’s research will form the basis of his new book: The Voice – Mind, Body and Soul. For the book, he has spoken to singers, voice practitioners and professionals around the world to find out what it takes to become the Complete Singer.


In Lee’s opinion, great singers have a certain mindset, combined with the self-discipline needed to develop their skills and an ability to express themselves musically with raw authenticity.


“To become successful in any skill it takes persistence,” says Lee. “Gabrielle and Laura both had a real passion for music and that’s where it begins. They both soaked up styles and music from their favourite artists while pursuing their own unique style.


“As to becoming a star, that’s something different. Not all stars or celebrities have great talent, but they do possess something: a certain mindset.


“You need to have a certain mindset so you don’t hold back. It’s about breaking down barriers and breaking out of comfort zones.There is a work ethic, too. Sustained success takes dedication.


“It’s always interesting to see with any students we have here. They come in at the age of 16 and they haven’t always had the opportunity to express their own music.


“There seems to be a eureka moment for every singer when they latch onto a particular style and they realise what they can do.


“I remember Laura being at the piano. She had written a song and played it and the whole room really fell silent. She got a massive applause afterwards because it was just a beautiful song.”


To many finding fame as a professional singer seems like a fairy tale come true, but in reality professional singers need to work hard to build up their strength.


At Bath College, Lee teaches students vocal exercises to help them extend their range and advises them how to look after their voice.


Next January, he will be sharing his expertise with performers and musicians starting on a six week part-time course.


“Building strength and flexibility and preserving our voices is where the self-discipline comes in,” says Lee.


“There are things you can avoid. Dairy products and Chocolate are things to stay away from because they cause a lot of mucus. Chocolate tars the vocal cords – it makes them less flexible.


“I gave Gabrielle a list of vocal exercises to take with her on her first tour and I know she still uses them. They’re the same vocal techniques that Seth Riggs devised in training Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder before gruelling tours.”


Lee’s course, an ‘Introduction to Singing,’ is open to beginners and performers or musicians who want to improve in vocal confidence and build up a repertoire.


At the end of the course, students will have the opportunity to record their own cover or original song in a professional studio.


“This is quite a special thing,” says Lee. “Not only will singers get to improve and develop, they will have something to work towards and a great reward at the end.


“The level you start at doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you’re getting better. Singers often compare themselves with other more experienced or successful singers and it doesn’t always help that our culture champions competition such as the shaming X-Factor TV shows.


“We have to remember that the race isn’t against others. The race is simply with ourselves because all voices are different and unique.


“That’s the beauty of it. Sometimes you may have to work harder than others depending on your life experience, but that’s ok because it’s so very worth it. We have an incredible Music Team here at Bath College and each of them is worth their weight in gold.”


Lee’s course starts on January 14. For more information click here.


Teenager is the first apprentice to study jewellery making with Bath Aqua Glass


Glass-making experts at Bath Aqua Glass have taken on a new apprentice.


The company, based at Cheap Street and Walcot Street, currently has five apprentices studying at Bath College.


College student Liam Taylor is the first apprentice to study jewellery making with Bath Aqua Glass and  will learn how to make pedants, beads and hanging glass.


He is hoping to develop his design and business skills at the company, one of the last free-blown glass studios in the UK.


Liam, 19, from Paulton, started searching for apprentices after finishing his A-levels at Midsomer Norton Sixth Form.


Hoping for practical hands-on experience, he opted for an NVQ Level 2 in warm glass making instead of a university course.


He said: “I went through a lot of apprenticeship websites. Most of the ones I was applying for were graphic design and mainly involved computers. This one was just really unusual and it was the most creative.


“My friend is doing an art foundation course and when I described what I was doing to him, he was tempted to apply. I thought that was interesting.”


Bath Aqua Glass is an independent business selling a range of free-blown glassware, jewellery and stained glass.


Themis Mikelides, one of the directors at Bath Aqua Glass, started off his own career by enrolling on an art foundation course.


However, he believes that enrolling on an apprenticeship is the best way to get industry relevant skills.


Mr Mikelides said: “You can come out of a college with a glass certificate and not be appropriate for industry.


“Liam will not only learn manufacturing and making skills, he will gain an understanding of how art works in a business sense.”


Many apprentices studying with Bath Aqua Glass stay with the company and others go on to be successful businessmen in their own right.


Former trainee James Devereux started working with the company at 15-years-old and now has his own studio in Wiltshire.


Mr Mikelides is passionate about passing on his expertise to the next generation and keeping the art of glass-making alive.


He said: “Having an arts and craft business in the heart of Bath manufacturing and retailing everything is especially unique.


“We like to use local people and to give young people an opportunity. I want to train up people that will be with us over a number of years.


“We’re working in conjunction with Bath College and I’m hoping that more apprentices like this will start taking place.


“At the end when Liam has finished his apprenticeship there will be a full-time job for him.


“I’m certainly hoping he will be there and all the time and materials we have invested in him will pay back ten-fold.”


Interested in an apprenticeship? Let us know!




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Please complete the form below giving details of the apprenticeship you want to take and the employer who has offered you a placement.



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College Placement Officer contacts you to discuss the next steps.

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You begin paid employment through the programme.



Government minister mentions Bath College in the House of Lords


Government minister Nick Boles has used careers advice provided through the Bath Education Trust as an example of the way forward for other schools and colleges.


The government’s Minister of State for Skills and Equalities was speaking in the House of Lords to the Select Committee on Social Mobility.


Appointed in June, the committee is considering how social mobility affects the transition from school to work for 14 to 24-year-olds.


During the session, Mr Boles mentioned careers advisers at Bath College, who visit all schools signed up to the Bath Education Trust (BET) to give students impartial information and guidance.


Speaking about careers advice, Mr Boles said “one of the most interesting models” available is the Bath Education Trust, which is run with “the active and willing participation of” schools and educational providers in Bath.


He said: “What we should be encouraging is different LEPs, different combined authorities to come forward and be more proactive.”


The BET Futures Careers Service is operating in Beechen Cliff School, Hayesfield School, Oldfield School and Ralph Allen School.


Louise Croft, head of the BET Future Careers Service, said: “It is good to hear ministers talking about the work we do with our BET partners.


“It is important that all young people have access to impartial advice about all of their options post 16 and post 18.


“Our work with the BET schools facilitates this.”


Mr Boles spoke alongside education secretary Nicky Morgan at the final evidence gathering session held by the Select Committee on Social Mobility.


He was asked about funding for further education, career pathways for young people who do not study for A-levels and the new apprenticeship levy.


The minister also talked about a local enterprise adviser network, through the new Careers and Enterprise Company, which aims to recruit volunteer enterprise advisers from large and small companies to offer schools and colleges an insight into business.


The committee will report on its findings by March 23.


New animals settle in at Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus


Rescued rabbits Scooby and Velma have been given a new home at Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus.


The pair were adopted from Bath Bunny Rescue, based in Twerton, and are being used to teach students how to handle large rabbits.


They are settling in at the same time as a pair of rosella parakeets, a blue-tounged skink and a Syrian hamster named Oreo.




Students studying animal care at Bath College look after hundreds of animals every day, from rodents to chickens, fish and reptiles.


However, Scooby and Velma are the biggest rabbits at the college.


Supervisor Katie Parfitt said: “I saw that Scooby and Velma were larger rabbits, which we thought would be excellent for teaching correct restraints in animals.


“I like to help rescues as I believe it is very good for students to work with animals that may not have had the best start in life.


“They can see the progress made and the techniques used to gain an animal’s trust. This helps give them skills for careers in rescue centres.


“It’s lovely to see Scooby and Velma grooming each other’s faces and siting side by side eating hay together. They both really love food and can’t get enough carrots!


“As rabbits are such sociable animals it is always best if possible to keep two together.”


Scooby and Velma


The land-based department at Bath College was refurbished from September to October to include new animal tanks and cages.


Now the college has the space to home animals like Sidney, a three-year-old male skink, who likes to eat fruit, insects, small birds, eggs and dead mice.


Miss Parfitt said: “Due to the investment that has been made in upgrading the animal accommodation we had space and a lovely large vivarium, so we acquired him.


“We have lots of lizards and snakes, but the skink is a good link between these and is something different for the students to learn about.




“To prepare students for a career in the animal care industry they need to realise there is an awful lot of feeding and cleaning carried out every day of the year.


“All animal care courses, from entry level up to level 3, have both practical duties and practical handling sessions timetabled into every week.”


Deck the College competition winners announced


Staff at Bath College rose to the challenge when they were asked to decorate their departments for Christmas.


Teams in Bath and Somer Valley entered into the festive spirit of things for the annual Deck the College Competition.


They enjoyed some Christmas fun, transforming their offices into grottos, winter wonderlands and an exam centre for Santa.


At Santa’s Union, decorated by the student participation team, chaplain Rob Popejoy dressed up as an elf.


Learning support staff at Bath College also turned their office into Whoville, with a cardboard cut-out of the Grinch and Dr. Seuss quotes.


Deck the College2


Carole Stott, chair of the governing body at Bath College, judged the competition and announced the winners at the staff Christmas party.


The library team at Bath won second place for their German market and the IT team at Somer Valley fashioned a cosy log fire to win third place.


First place was awarded to the estates team at Somer Valley, who created Santa’s mission control centre.


Deck the College7


Staff put up a map tracking Santa’s journey across the globe to deliver presents, surrounded by clocks set at different time zones in the world.


They decorated a Christmas tree with keys and laid out a diary to record sleigh and vehicle bookings, as well as Rudolph’s trophy for the reddest nose.


Mike Drewitt, from the estates team, said: “We just couldn’t believe it when we found out we’d won.


“We put it together from things we found, we didn’t spend a penny. We were all involved, it was a team effort. We’ve got to defend our title next year now!”


Deck the College5

Football Academy, News

Sports student Ollie Bassett signs professional contract with Yeovil Town


Bath College student Ollie Bassett has signed a professional contract with Yeovil Town just three months after making his debut with the first team.


The 17-year-old became Yeovil’s youngest ever football league player when he played for the team against Crawley Town in September.


He has secured a future with Yeovil Town until June 2017 and will also continue studying for a BTEC Level 3 sports qualification at Bath College.


Bath College lecturer Paul Blenkinsopp said: “It’s really good for him and it’s really good that we can say we have a professional player studying with us.


“I would say he’s very focused as a player. With Ollie, he’s a down to earth kid – there’s no airs or graces about him.


“He comes in to work hard and the staff get on well with him. He’s one of those boys where you’re happy it’s happened to him.”


Bath College runs two football academies in partnership with Southampton and Bath City FC, giving students the chance to play against top teams.


Players at the Southampton academy train with Yeovil two days a week and play for the Yeovil under 18s team on Saturday.


The signing signals a bright future for Ollie, from Packington, Leicestershire, who came to Bath after playing at Aston Villa’s academy.


He said: “After the Crawley game I didn’t know it was coming, but I thought there was a good chance.


“I played the following week against Hartlepool and I was just hoping they would offer me something.


“It’s a good opportunity. I didn’t get a scholarship at Aston Villa so I might have just packed it in, but Southampton gave me a second chance.


“It’s good to get a college course behind you in case it doesn’t work out. I have something to fall back on.


“I’m excited to start full-time next year. I’m looking forward to playing football five days a week.”


Ollie’s signing has created a buzz in the sports department at Bath College and has been an inspiration for other students there.


Mr Blenkinsopp said: “He could at the end of that, if he does well, get offered a three to four year deal. Or another club might see him and want to offer him something.


“As well as educating them, hopefully football-wise we’re giving them some good opportunities to progress. Obviously we want to get players back into football.


“Originally Ollie came from the Aston Villa Academy. He’s technically a very good player. He probably didn’t make it at Aston Villa because of his size, but over the next few years he will develop that.


“It’s good for our students here. It shows that it can be done for the ones that work hard there is an opportunity to get back into the game.”


Got Ya Back team create Christmas advent calendar to help students stay safe


Students behind the Got Ya Back campaign have created a Christmas advent calendar encouraging people to stay safe during the festive season.


The online advent calendar features Santa with his reindeers and behind each door is a safety message for students enjoying a night out with friends.


Got Ya Back is a partnership between Bath College, Bath & North East Somerset Council, Avon and Somerset Constabulary, Avon Fire and Rescue Service, Bath Spa University and the University of Bath.


IT students at Bath College helped kickstart the campaign in May after a number of river deaths involving young people last year.


Got Ya Back encourages students to carry ICE (in case of emergency) cards and is looking at ways of working with taxi operators and licensed premises to help get people home safely.


The campaign has been used at university fresher’s fairs and in January, Bath College students will be going into schools to talk to pupils about river safety.


Tips on the advent calendar include letting someone know what time you’re going to be back and leaving a club or pub with a group of friends.


Campaign manager and Bath College student Sam Maggs said: “We’re hoping the calendar can help spread safety tips that we all know and use to help others out.


“We want people to share their own tips with us and others, so the community of Bath can be safer. t’s also just some fun to get us all in the Christmas spirit. We want to be fun and engaging, not boring.


“We’d love for everyone to share our calendar with friends and family.”


Click on the calendar here.


Students organise sale in aid of the Hope 4 Harmonie appeal


Students studying life and independent living skills teamed together to raise money for the Hope 4 Harmonie appeal.


A group of students collected £78 after holding a cake and hand-made Christmas card sale in the Roper Building at Bath College.


The Hope 4 Harmonie appeal is raising money for Bath toddler Harmonie-Rose, who fell ill with a deadly form of meningitis just before her first birthday.


Doctors at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children saved her life, but were forced to amputate.


The fund will help the brave youngster adapt to life as a quadruple amputee, paying for special equipment, prosthetics and home modifications.


Foundation learning lecturer Charlotte Henley said: “This is the first time these students have raised money for the Hope 4 Harmonie appeal.


“This is part of an enterprise project they are part of – they have to decide what they want to sell. They did a survey to see what was popular, so that’s why they’re selling Christmas cards and cakes.


“They made everything from scratch.”


Bath College students volunteering for new green website Ecojam Bath


Bath College students will be volunteering for a new website launched to showcase green living in Bath and create an eco-friendly online community.


The new website, Ecojam Bath, allows visitors to look up green businesses, search for ethical jobs and tune into local news, events and discussions.


Two students will offer their help with the business as part of Bath College’s new innovation and enterprise strategy – to help students build connections with organisations in the city.


Media student Neve Fear-Smith plans to study journalism at university and will be writing news articles and blog entries for the website.


Marketing hopeful Issy Briggs has signed up to assist with promotional campaigns and events, raising the profile of Ecojam Bath.


Darren Rogers, enterprise and innovation manager at Bath College, said: “The intention is that we deepen the learning experience even further through engagement with start-ups, local businesses and inspirational entrepreneurs.


“It’s a mutually beneficial relationship. Our students are embedded in local businesses, working in the industry they are training for, and the start-up businesses get support from our students to help them grow and become successful.”


The new Ecojam Bath website is a hub where people can connect with each other, share ideas and find out how to get involved in Bath’s green scene.


Visitors to the website can track down their local farmers’ market, give away or collect unwanted items and find restaurants with green credentials.


Rebecca Fox, Ecojam Bath’s project manager, said: “Bath has a vibrant green and ethical scene, and visitors to the site may be surprised by the diversity of what’s going on in their city.


“Ecojam Bath is run by volunteers and since our website launched a few weeks ago, I have been on the lookout for more volunteers who can help develop Ecojam’s presence in the community.


“By working with Bath College I can recruit volunteers with the right set of skills. Ecojam is all about supporting the local community, which is why I am delighted to be offering valuable work experience to Neve and Issy. I can’t wait for us to get started.”


Bath College is currently building up its portfolio of businesses and organisations that would be interested in offering work experience.


To find out more about the enterprise scheme contact Mr Rogers on (01225) 328673. Click here to visit the Ecojam Bath website.


You can also connect with Ecojam Bath on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.


Bath College students hold Christmas market at Green Park Station


Students brought a buzz to Green Park Station at the Bath College Christmas market, filling the old station with music, gift stalls and festive fun.


The market involved students from across the college, who worked hard to make and sell hand-made gifts, food and flower arrangements.


Art and design students created their own products in class, producing cushions, mugs, bags, jewellery and t-shirts.




Visitors also stopped to listen to first year music students perform and watch bricklaying students build a Christmas chimney.


The college’s student participation team and childcare students manned a stall where people could make their own Christmas decorations.


There were robots, food and floristry stalls and face-painting sessions.


Students were encouraged to take part in the market to make sure they develop business skills early on in their careers.




Bath resident Jill Hodgson said: “I think it’s very good. It’ gets them out in the real world. I love the bricklaying. That’s really good to show what they are doing as apprentices going into industry.”


Garry Manning, managing director at The Self-Publishing Partnership, popped out of his Green Park Station office to buy some cushions.


To make the cushions, students created darkroom photographic cyanotypes, which were screen-printed onto hand-made cushions.


Mr Manning said: “I just thought I would see what was going on. I quite like a lot of stuff that’s here. I like good modern design.”


Technician Katie Dyer helped to run the floristry stall, selling poinsettias, lilies, table decorations and Christmas wreaths.


She said: “It’s actually gone really well. Because of the amount of glitter we have got, I think it’s attracting a lot of attention.


“It’s nice for the students to make something and bring it out, to be able to sell it and see how much interest they get in what they have made.


“They do the wreaths as part of their assessment in class and wrapping is something they learn so we can sell flowers in the college shop.”




Dave Merriman, Head of Art and Design, said: “This is providing an excellent opportunity to see the development of young entrepreneurs. Some of the products the students have designed have been flying of the shelves.


“It’s great to see them taking a collective responsibility for the market, as well as learning about things other than creativity – for example, financial recording, keeping sales and communicating with the public.”


Former student shows IT group around Somer Valley FM radio station


Former student Luke Barnes showed a group from Bath College around Somer Valley FM.


Students studying Level 3 IT visited the radio station in Midsomer Norton to take a look at IT facilities.


They listened to a presentation about running a radio station and the legal requirements of broadcasting.


Students tested software used to program broadcasts and learnt how the radio station backs up its programmes every day.


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Mr Barnes, the radio station’s production and systems manager, also introduced students to station manager Dom Chambers.


Somer Valley FM is a non-profit organisation and all income is invested back into the radio station to keep it running.


Students talked about volunteering at the radio station, which only has two full-time members of staff and relies on hundreds of volunteers.


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Lecturer David Wills said: “This trip demonstrated to students the high degree of enterprise needed by staff to found and run a local SME company on a non-profit basis.


“The experience was appreciated by students as it gave them an insight into different range of possibilities for work placements and a chance to talk to enthusiastic entrepreneurs who are local and accessible.”


Catering students host imaginative 80th birthday party


Students at Bath College threw writer and former lecturer Richard Ingham an 80th birthday party to remember at The Shrubbery Restaurant.


The restaurant, on James Street West, is run by catering and hospitality students at Bath College.


Seventy guests tucked into an eight-course menu inspired by popular dishes through the decades and sang for their supper between each course.


During the evening, guests donated £750 to the charity Dream Big Ghana, which builds compostable toilets in villages in Ghana.




The evening started in the 1930s with Martini cocktails and finished in the year 2000 with coffee and cupcakes.


Students prepared a modern twist on 1940s rabbit pie, 1950s Brown Windsor Soup, and 1970s boil in the bag cod.


Mr Ingham, of Devonshire Place, Bath, taught at Chippenham Technical College and his wife Jacqui Buffton served as vice-chair of Bath College’s governing body for many years.


The 80-year-old plays in a blues band, The Amazing Street Band, and was keen to get everyone singing songs by Vera Lynn, Elvis Presley and The Beatles.


Matt Finch, teaching and learning manager at Bath College, led the singing and provided musical accompaniment.


Mr Ingham said: “The evening was absolutely magical.


“We’ve had a few birthday parties at the college over the years, because we’re interested in further education and because the college has provided such a great service.


“College staff were integral to the planning of this extraordinary event and the students were better than good – really skillfull and caring.


“The food was wonderful. We gave them a challenge and they were all up for it.”


Chris and Sally Croudace collected the cheque for £750 on behalf of their son Dougal, who set up the charity Dream Big Ghana in 2009.




The former Frome College pupil went on a gap year to Ghana and fell in love with the fishing villages of Dzita and Agbledomi.


He founded Dream Big Ghana to give villagers somewhere safe and hygienic to go to the toilet. After a year, the compost can be used to fertilise crops grown by the villagers.


Dougal also runs a not-for-profit eco-lodge, which attracts volunteers and placement students from around the world.


His dad Chris said: “The birthday bash held at Bath College was such good fun.


“The icing on the cake was the wonderful sum of £750 raised by Richard and his friends for another compostable toilet.


“It’s only through the active support of people like them that villagers in Dzita and Agbledomi have access to a proper loo and the hand washing facilities they need to be healthy.”


Bridget Halford, head of hospitality and catering at Bath College, said: “It was a pleasure to cater for Richard and his family.


“They have a strong connection with the college – we also catered for Richard’s 70th birthday party. The students worked hard and did themselves proud.”


Full-time job offered to 18-year-old Project SEARCH student


A teenager with a speech impediment has overcome all the odds to land a full-time job operating the county’s green recycling vans.


Roxy Garraway was given a 10-week work placement at the recycling centre on Midland Road, Bath, as part of Project SEARCH.


The programme, run in partnership with Bath College, Bath and North East Somerset Council and Sirona Health and Care, helps young people with learning difficulties and disabilities secure paid permanent jobs at the end of a year-long employability programme.


Miss Garraway was low in confidence when she started Project SEARCH. But she worked hard and impressed her boss at the recycling centre, who gave her a full-time job after she finished her work placement.


The 18-year-old will get her first pay cheque just before Christmas.




She said: “I love being a part of this team. We have a laugh, we get on and we always look after each other. It’s really helped me with my confidence.


“Before I didn’t want to work, I would rather ask my mum for money. But when I started on the programme I realised what I wanted to do – I wanted a job.


“I’m looking forward to working full-time because at the moment I’m only on an agency job. I’m out in the van. I go to peoples’ houses and collect stuff they don’t want anymore.”


Young people aged 18 to 24-years-old are placed on three 10-week work placements as part of the Project SEARCH programme.


Miss Garraway started her first work placement at the council’s parks department, before going on to work at Haycombe Cemetery and the recycling centre.


She received support from a Bath College tutor in the classroom, learning about appropriate dress, conduct and attitudes in the workplace.


Sirona job coach Sarah Rendell also visited Miss Garraway during her placements to give support, advice, guidance and check on her progress


She said: “Roxy is a completely different lady now and this has been noticed by her family too.


“She has gone from a young lady who used to sit in class with her hands over her face to someone who is confident approaching customers and ensuring the council recycling system works properly.


“She went through a competitive interview process. She had to apply for a job and she’s been successful.


“Roxy will be reliable no matter what the weather and I know she is capable of progressing in that job. It could quite feasibly be a job for life.”


Miss Garraway plans to use the money she earns to take driving lessons and would like to learn to drive the recycling lorries.


Glyn Jones is the teenager’s manager at the recycling centre.


He said: “She has worked hard even though she has a speech impediment she’s pulled herself through and her confidence has really grown.


“She’s prepared to take on any task you ask of her.”


Students on the Project SEARCH programme may find themselves on an internship at the historical Roman Baths, Pump Rooms and Assembly Rooms, as well as other council departments.


They are more likely to find employment opportunities thanks to the programme.


Mrs Rendell said: “This is work experience with a difference. They are not paid, but they are gaining valuable employability skills and they end up with a reference from the manager.


“It works like a long working interview, which is much fairer for someone with learning disabilities. It completely widens out what they do with their life. It gives them an opportunity they would never have had otherwise.”


For information about Project SEARCH click here.


Visit the Bath College Christmas Market at Green Park Station

Students at Bath College are bringing Christmas to Green Park Station with a festive market selling hand-made gifts and food.


The market, on Thursday December 3, will involve students from across the college, including music, floristry and art and design students.


In the college’s art and design department, students have been hard at work designing products to sell, from cushions and mugs to bags and scarves.




Visitors will be able to buy Christmas bouquets and wreaths, as well as jams, pickles and hot drinks to warm their hands up.


There will be winter wonderland workshops for children with face-painting, a tombola and entertainment from music and performing arts students.


The Christmas market follows on from a summer market at Green Park Station, where students showcased their skills during free ‘have-a-go’ activities.


Darren Rogers, enterprise and innovation manager at Bath College, is keen to make sure students develop business skills early on in their careers.


He said: “Products will be made locally by local students who are working and training here to develop their careers.


“This is a clear indication of where the college is headed in terms of making enterprise one of its key priorities for learners.


“It’s a great chance for our students to understand the production process, from design and making through to selling the finished product at a market to real customers.”


The market will run from 12pm to 6pm.


Bath College hosts Chelsea Flower Show regional heat


Bath College played host to top florists and floristry businesses at the Chelsea Flower Show South West regional heat.


Student Emily Smith shone during the competition and could go on to compete for Young Chelsea Florist of the Year.


The 17-year-old from Bath College impressed with a bouquet decorated with seashells, coming second in the under 24s category.


Over 30 people took part in the competition. They were asked to make a bridal bouquet inspired by a seaside wedding.




Bath College student Louise Waters also entered the over 24s category, producing a towering design inspired by ice cream cones.


Other college students attended on the day to watch a floristry demonstration and lend their support to competitors.


Lecturer Jo Matthews said: “It’s always intense because you’re eagerly awaiting the results.


“For our students here, they really had their eyes opened to seeing something completely different – not industry floristry but competition floristry.


“Competition floristry is more creative. It’s a showcase of your talent so it means larger designs and more technical ability.


“I was very proud to see them both enter, because they haven’t got the experience of a lot of other competitors who have been entering competitions for years.


“Emily was really shocked to win second place and I think Louise was very proud to be involved and learn a lot from it.”


Sixteen florists from regional heats across the country will be chosen to compete for a national title at the Chelsea Flower Show.


The college already plans to be at the Chelsea Flower Show in May, where it will compete for College of the Year.


Last July, Bath College won Best College in Show and a gold medal at the Hampton Court Flower Show.


Judges awarded Miss Smith 90 points for her bouquet and it is hoped she will have the chance take part at Chelsea.


Mrs Matthews said: “We have to wait until April and they will announce who is going through to Chelsea, but I’m pretty sure Emily will go through with those marks.”

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