Care Academy Learn a Skills Day


Bath College Care Academy students enjoyed a Learn a Skills Day on 24th January, taking part in a broad range of workshops facilitated by visiting Health and Social Care Practitioners.


The aim of the day was for students to work with practitioners to participate in practical workshops to learn a new skill for the field of health and social care and to develop their skills and confidence.


The workshops were run by practitioners from the University of the West of England Nursing and Midwifery team, Action on Addiction, Way Ahead Care, The Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust, Banes Youth Connect, Off the Record, Avon and Wiltshire Partnership Care Home Liaison Team, Dorothy House Hospice Care, Sirona Care and Health, Dimensions and United Response.


Rebecca Scutt, Widening Participation Assistant at the Royal United Hospital, attended the event with the Medical Physics team who demonstrated how to use equipment, such as a spectrum analyser. Rebecca said that “it’s been great to meet the students and they were really interested in the activities.” She added that “this event gave students a unique opportunity to get an insight into health careers through interactive activities in a classroom setting.”

The workshops covered topics including, working with families experiencing addiction, youth culture, nursing, learning disabilities nursing, midwifery, emotional health and wellbeing, occupational therapy, dementia, creative and therapeutic activities within support work, the use of diagnostic equipment and the use of social media in supporting vulnerable people.


Monique Esson, a participating student said “the whole day gave us a sense of enthusiasm about possible future careers.”


Another student, Georgina Singer, summarising the day said “it was a good opportunity to meet experienced people who can give us an insight into what it’s really like to work in those settings.”


Megan Clifford, who took part in one of the nursing workshops said “It was helpful to learn how to take a pulse in case you’re ever in an emergency.”


Sally Wilson, Care Academy Coordinator, who organised the event said, “this was a wonderful opportunity for students to meet a wide range of practitioners and to learn more about the wonderful field of health and Social care.”


As well as helping with their employability skills, it has also inspired so many of our students, helping to inform their study programme here and their future career aspirations. We really appreciate the time and support so many practitioners have given for this event!


Care Academy, News

Students trained to support Bath’s first slow shopping project


Bath College students will be part of an exciting new project launched this week.
Slow Shopping aims to make doing the weekly shop easier for older people, those living with dementia, or anyone who might need a bit of extra time to complete their shopping.
Students from the Bath College Care Academy and staff from Waitrose, Bath, are joining together to kick-start the city’s first Slow Shopping project, with the help of funding from the St John’s Foundation.
The new Slow Shopping project will deliver training to health and social care students from the Bath College Care Academy and Waitrose staff.
They will be on hand to assist shoppers who may require extra time or support to complete their shop. During Slow Shopping sessions, background noise will be limited to create a calm atmosphere in store.
The first Slow Shopping session starts on January 23rd. Slow Shopping sessions will run at Waitrose, on Northgate Street, every Tuesday between 10am and 12 noon.
Founder Katherine Vero set up Slow Shopping after her mother was diagnosed with dementia.
Inspired by her mother’s experience of visiting shops, Slow Shopping works with retailers, training providers and others to advocate a safe environment for those who need to take more time shopping.
Katherine said: “I am delighted to be working with such a wonderful team of people to deliver Slow Shopping to the community in Bath.
“The commitment and enthusiasm shown by all the partners is heartening and I feel sure that the quality of the support that they can offer to the customers in Waitrose will be both sensitive and effective.
“Shopping is such an ordinary activity that it can be underestimated. It has so many benefits especially for those who live with visible, invisible, intellectual or cognitive disability and their carers and families.
“A trip to the shops can be a social activity, it can help maintain independence and health and it is a physical exercise involving personal choice.
“I want to encourage people who may feel less confident or fearful to come shopping and enjoy the experience, knowing they can get help if they need it.”
Bath’s first Slow Shopping project was launched at Bath College on Tuesday January 16th following the first training session for Waitrose staff and Bath College Care Academy students.
Sally Wilson, Care Academy Coordinator at Bath College, said: “We’re excited to be working in collaboration to help shape this ground-breaking programme within the local community supporting peoples’ health and wellbeing.
“Students will learn so much from working in partnership in this way. They will develop a greater awareness of some of the barriers that those experiencing dementia (and other additional needs) may face when shopping, and the different ways they can support them.
“All of this ties in with the main aim of The Bath College Care Academy: to enhance students’ employability skills by working with partners to provide a wide range of work experience opportunities within the health and social care sector.”


Judges choose the winners of the Bath College Business and Accounting Challenge


Students taking part in the Bath College Business and Accounting Challenge worked under pressure to impress competition judges.

Nearly 40 students studying business and accounting took part in the three-hour challenge in the Futures Hub, sponsored by NatWest.

The challenge was led by Jack Henman, from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

Groups were given a tight timescale to produce a SWOT analysis and presentation responding to a real-life business scenario.


Congratulations to the winning team: Lisa Plenderleith, Danielle Damen, Edward Dooley, Oliver George, Charles Oliver-Cork and Muhammed Kizilboga.

They were chosen as winners by a panel of judges, including Peter White, from the Royal United Hospital, Bath, Chris Hanney, from Barclays, Neil Whittemore, from Curo, Desmond Doherty and Ryan Taylor, from NatWest, Iain Black, from Monahans, and Gemma Stock, from the Bath Building Society.

Mr Henman, Marketing Executive at ICAEW, said: “It’s important to show students what it’s like to be a chartered accountant. A lot of employers have fed back to us that some students don’t know what’s expected of them in the workplace.

“They are looking for a whole array of different skills, including soft skills like team building, verbal communication and decision making. This challenge is preparing them for work on a daily basis, and it’s something that they can talk about in interviews because they’ll have the certificates for their CVs.


“The students are really determined. They have put in a lot of work and have taken to the task well. They all have individual skills and are showing them off by taking on specific tasks.”

Students studying business and accounting have the opportunity to work with local companies through the Bath College Academy of Business.

Last year, students studying business and accounting came 2nd in the regional heat for the ICAEW Base accounting challenge at Oxford University.

Student Muhammed Kizilboga said: “I thought it was a great challenge. It taught us how to be an accountant for a day and showed us what it would be like to choose accountancy as a career path.
“I want to be a chartered accountant, and doing this challenge confirmed that I’m making the right choice. It stretched us as a team, but it was achievable when we worked together.”


Foundation learning: Nino’s story inspires gala dinner attendees


Photo above: By JMPUK

College student Nino Genua was an important part of Bristol Sport’s annual gala dinner at the Ashton Gate Stadium.

Nino, who has Down’s Syndrome, started at Bath College in September 2017 as a LILS (Life and Independent Living Skills) student.

Before this, he was one of the first participants to take part in the Spectrum Project, run by the Bristol Rugby Community Foundation.

Nino with Kris Tavener, from the Spectrum Project

The Spectrum Project gives young people with special educational needs and disabilities the chance to get involved with life at Bristol Rugby.

Nino, 18, had the chance to work in the club shop, in the fan zone on match days, and also took on journalism tasks, such as interviewing players.

He is one of the Spectrum Project’s success stories and was invited to the dinner just before Christmas to share his story.


Nino’s time at the Spectrum Project has helped him believe in himself and progress well on the LILS course at Bath College.
Due to his hard work, he was crowned regional winner for Volunteer of the Year at the Premiership Rugby Parliamentary Awards in 2016.


In September 2017, Nino was offered a volunteer post as assistant coach for the project alongside his mentor and manager Kris Tavener.

Outside of college, he spends his time coaching members of the Adult Walking Rugby team at Ashton Gate and pupils at New Fosseway School in Hengrove.


He is a keen footballer, playing regularly with the Keynsham Mencap Football Club, as well as vice-captain of the Bristol Sharks Swimming Team and a Special Olympics competition swimmer.

Nino’s mum Sharon is proud of her son and is looking forward to seeing what he achieves in the future.

She said: “The Spectrum Project has offered Nino untold opportunities. They all believe in his ability, worth and role as a valued member of their team.

“So far he has been very happy on the LILS course at Bath College, and as parents we have found all staff involved with Nino to be supportive and understanding of his educational needs.

“If he can, he would like to attend the Vocational Access Programme (VAP) for sport at the college, but if not he wants to increase the number of days working at Bristol Rugby.

“At the dinner he introduced himself to Lee Johnson and arranged to do some work with him, so watch this space for Nino’s next adventure into the world of football, there is no stopping him!”

Care Academy, News

Health and social care students capture First World War memories


Students at Bath College are taking part in a local history project to help preserve peoples’ memories of the First World War.
The Project, called A Century’s Memories, is being run by Bath & North East Somerset Council with £7,100 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Young people aged 15 to 21-years-old are being trained and supported to conduct interviews in four different areas of the county.
Level 3 health and social care students Kellie Crossthwaite and Freya Game have already started interviewing community members in Radstock.
At the start of January, they spoke to David Taylor, whose father George Henry Taylor started work in the coalmines at 13-years-old.
He was 16 when he enlisted with the Somerset Light Infantry, and after a couple of month’s training, was sent to fight in France.
Kellie and Freya have recorded George’s story to be included in an illustrated commemorative book.
The interview will be kept at the Bath Record Office and used to produce online learning resources for seven to 11-year-olds in schools.
Freya, 20, said: “I thought it seemed a really interesting project. I’ve read a lot about the First World War, but it’s nice to hear real-life stories from people who have a connection with the past.
“I’ve learned a lot, and I’ve enjoyed speaking to David. It’s given me more confidence in meeting people and being able to build up a connection with them.”
A Century’s Memories is part of Bath & North East Somerset Council’s plans to commemorate the centenary of the First World War between 2014 and 2018.
This month, health and social care students will also interview members of the Larkhall Friendship Circle at New Oriel Hall and members of the Women’s Royal Army Corps Association in Bath.
All students studying health and social care have access to the Bath College Care Academy, a partnership set up between employers and the college to provide work experience and training.
After the project is completed, there will be a number of celebration and sharing events in September and October.
Mr Taylor, who shared his dad’s photos and war medals during the interview, said: “Dad spent most of the First World War fighting, getting injured and going back to the front again.
“Out of 60 members of his regiment, he was one of two people to survive. I wanted people to hear what happened during the war, and I think the students have done extremely well.
“There are very few people left with direct family who were involved in the First World War, so it’s a good thing they’re doing. I will be interested to see what they do with the interviews, and so will my family.
“I have two grandsons who took dad’s medals to school for a show and tell, and they are quite proud of him.”


Bake Off Crème de la Crème winner Mark Tilling visits Bath College


Hospitality and catering students learnt how to make sweet treats from an award-winning chocolatier and pastry chef during employability week.

Mark Tilling, winner of BBC Two’s Bake Off Crème de la Crème, was invited to speak to students and demonstrate the precise art of chocolate making.

Students learnt how to melt and temper chocolate, and how to create marbled lollipops, stamped medallions and customised shapes during a three-hour session.


Second year student Amy Benfield works as a pastry chef at the Peppermill Hotel in Devizes, Wiltshire, and plans to specialise in this area.

She said: “Pastry is quite creative and I’m a creative person. It was nice to meet Mark who is a specialist in chocolate and passionate about it. It’s inspiring to be able to speak to someone at that level.”

Experts in the hospitality and catering industry volunteer their time to give students an insight into their profession for employability week every January.

The college’s hospitality and catering department also works with local chefs throughout the year as part of the Bath Hotel and Restaurant School.

On January 18, students will work with professionals from the Pig near Bath to prepare a three-course meal at the Shrubbery Restaurant. Tickets are available for members of the public. 

This year, activities for employability week included bread making, cocktail making, wine tasting, cooking demonstrations, and mock interviews with employers.


During the mock interviews, students had the chance to network with professionals form the Bath Pub Company, Apex Hotels and Woods Restaurant.

They enjoyed workshops with the Billingsgate Seafood School, Richard Bertinet, from The Bertinet Kitchen, Gary Rosser, from the Scallop Shell and Chris Cleghorn and Claire Wilkins, from the Olive Tree Restaurant.


Mark Tilling has worked as a pâtissier for over 25 years. He started his career at 16-years-old studying at college and working part-time at a nearby hotel.

In 2008 he won the title of UK Chocolate Master, progressing to 7th in the World Chocolate Masters Final in Paris a year later.

He said: “I always think it’s important to teach the next generation, to come into college and show the students what we do.

“They are the ones who will carry the industry into the future, and hopefully they will pass on their skills when they look back and realise how useful these experiences were for them.

“I was at their level early in my career and we didn’t have people coming into college to visit. They are so lucky to have these different companies and chefs come in to inspire them. You never know, we might have the next chocolatier of master chef in the room.”

Learning how to make bread with baking expert Richard Bertinet.

Ryan Hanson, Deputy Head of Hospitality and Catering at Bath College, said: “Employability is very important for our department and it’s something we focus on throughout the year.

“We use the first week in January to showcase opportunities for students, as it’s often when industry professionals have a little more availability in their schedules.

“We find giving our student access to these inspiring masterclasses, workshops and experiences throughout their time with us is invaluable to their development.

“It’s something we work hard to deliver. We’re always looking to engage with industry and are so thankful for the experts that continue to support our students.”

For details of catering events and to book a meal at Bath College’s Shrubbery Restaurant click here. 

Care Academy, News

Bath College Care Academy: Students tested during inter-college competition


Students had to think on their feet at an inter-college competition testing their team work, presentation skills and ability to react to challenging situations.
The competition, for early years and health and social care students, was hosted by the Bath College Care Academy and also involved competitors from Wiltshire and Frome Colleges.
Competitors were given an interactive display board and presentation task, with early years students focusing on outdoor play and how children can benefit from this.

Competitors from Bath College
Early years students also had to take part in a role play, in which they met a parent to discuss a child who is about to start at nursery and talked about helping them to settle in.
During their role play, health and social care students met Pearl, an elderly lady about to be moved to a care home. They were asked to assess her needs and decide how best to help her.

The Bath College Care Academy is partnership between health and social care employers and Bath College, set up to prepare students for working in industry by providing work experience and training.
Employers at the competition included Isa Richer, from the Swainswick Explorers Pre-school Club, Judith Green, from Bath Mind’s Food for Thought programme, and Louise Malkin and Jacqui Watson, from Riverside Nursery.
Congratulations to the following winners from the competition:
Health and social care: Shanrece Ferguson and Patti Poplawska.
Early years: Katherine Ogborne and Jordan McMahon.
Childcare lecturer Abigail Holt said: “The competition went very well and all of the participating students were fantastic.
“It gave them an opportunity to network and share their knowledge with peers and employers, and was a great opportunity to bring employers into a college-based event.
“We are looking forward to holding similar events in the future and inviting more college to take part.”

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