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Virtual Open Day

Virtual Open Day

ABOUT THIS EVENT

We will be hosting 4 Virtual Open Events over the course of the Academic year 2020/21, and you can sign up to as many as you like. Please use our form below to register, you can select as many events as you like. On the day of the event we will email out the link to the event platform, so ensure you register yourself in plenty of time! You can view a list of our events below, as well as find out how to contact us, and what we offer.

 


 

WHEN ARE OUR EVENTS?

WEDNESDAY 14TH OCTOBER 2020 (4-7PM)

WEDNESDAY 2ND DECEMBER 2020 (4-7PM)

WEDNESDAY 3RD FEBRUARY 2021 (4-7PM) 

WEDNESDAY 12TH MAY 2021 (4-7PM)

 


 

WHAT WE OFFER

From our Open event you can find out all about the range of exciting courses we offer, such as:

 

Post 16 Full-time courses

Apprenticeships

Higher Education/Degree Level Courses

Foundation Learning/SEND Facilities

Adult Community Learning/Free Courses

Free Distance Learning Courses

Love2Learn Leisure Courses

NEW FOR 2021 – T Levels

 


 

CONTACT DETAILS

If you have any questions or require more information about these events, please email events@bathcollege.ac.uk, otherwise scroll on to register yourself.

 


 

REGISTER NOW

News

Bath College accredited by ground-breaking dual career scheme

 

Bath College are delighted to be leading the way with supporting talented athletes in education in England, having been accredited by an innovative Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS). The TASS Dual Career Accreditation Scheme aims to allow and support young sportspeople on the talent pathway to have the opportunity to gain qualifications alongside their sporting pursuits, follow other interests, as well as further their personal development.

 

This is a huge achievement for Bath College and we are very proud to be awarded this recent accreditation. Ceri Baker, our Curriculum Manager for Health, Science & Engineering said: “Providing high quality education programmes is a key focus at Bath College and we are proud to be able to offer that little bit extra. Talented athletes will now be able to continue to excel academically whilst thriving as an athlete through the TASS Duel Career Accreditation pathway. We are committed to supporting students to achieve their full potential.”

 

Paul Blenkinsopp, our Sports Lecturer in Football also said: “Bath College has always had a history of supporting high level athletes from a range of sports and helping them to manage their academic and sporting commitments. It is a great achievement for the college to be awarded TASS Duel Career Accreditation, as this highlights the importance we place on supporting student athletes to achieve not only sporting but academic excellence as well.”

 

Bath College will be an important asset to the network that have already partnered with TASS, delivering core support services to more than 600 student-athletes each year. These support services include physiotherapy, nutrition, lifestyle support, psychology strength and conditioning and a private medical scheme. In addition, the academic flexibility policies may mean these students have the opportunity to access online resources, able to arrange catch up sessions with teaching staff, or even reschedule deadlines or exam dates in exceptional circumstances.

 

For Bath College, the recognition of becoming a TASS Dual Career Accredited Site is expected to be hugely beneficial by attracting a greater number of talented athletes and building connections with other local sporting institutions.

 

TASS National Director, Guy Taylor, said: “We’re delighted to be awarding TASS Dual Career Accreditation to colleges and universities across England. We hope that the academic flexibility policies put into place for the Accreditation will begin to develop an effective and lasting dual career structure within each institution. Congratulations to the successful institutions and we look forward to working alongside many more outstanding colleges and universities in the near future.”

 

News

Bath College announces new Chair of Corporation

 

Bath College is delighted to announce the recruitment of Professor Andy Salmon as the new Chair of their Corporation. He will take over this voluntary leadership role from Carole Stott OBE, who has held this role since January 2014.

 

Professor Salmon is a highly experienced leader in higher and further education. He is Pro Vice Chancellor for External Relations at Bath Spa University and has a background working across the College and University sector nationally and
internationally as well as leading on community initiatives.

 

Bath College Principal, Laurel Penrose, said, ‘Andy will be a real asset to our board, bringing a wealth of experience to the College, at a key time for the region as we begin recovery from the Covid pandemic and when addressing local needs that are central to the wellbeing of our community. At the same time, we want to acknowledge the excellent leadership and decisive, inclusive approach to governance, which Carole has provided in her years at the helm. She will be very much missed, and always a friend to the College.’

 

Andy Salmon said, ‘I am thrilled to be taking up this post, and to be able to contribute to the inclusive agenda across Bath and North East Somerset. Bath College is a lynchpin of educational success and aspiration in the region; its role is essential upskilling, reskilling and innovating for our collective working future

News

Apprenticeship Minister to launch West of England Institute of Technology

Gillian Keegan, Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills, will be ‘virtually’ opening the West of England Institute of Technology (WEIoT) on Thursday (8th October).

 

The official WEIoT launch will be a virtual event, which brings together all the education institutions and employers that have been involved bringing it to its fruition.
 
In 2019 the first Institutes of Technology (IoT) were selected through a government-led competition and 12 were awarded – the WEIoT was one of these.
 
The WEIoT is a consortium of education providers and key employers across the West of England. It has been led by Weston College and includes the University of the West of England, Bath College, Gloucestershire College, and Yeovil College as well as a network of key local employers, including; GKN Aerospace, Airbus, GE Aviation, Renishaw, University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Trust, St Monica Trust, Jisc, Mayden Academy, National Composites Centre (NCC), North Somerset Council, Leonardo, Rolls Royce and Bamboo Technology.
 
Speaking ahead of her visit, the Apprenticeships Minister said: “I’m looking forward to launching the West of England Institute of Technology and speaking to some of the employers, including GKN Aerospace Services Limited, Mayden Academy and University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, who have worked so hard to bring it to life.
 
“Institutes of Technology will be the pinnacle of technical training, offering higher technical STEM education and training in key sectors, such as advanced manufacturing and engineering, construction and infrastructure, and digital which will be even more important as we build back better from the pandemic. By collaborating with businesses, IoTs can deliver the technical knowledge and practical workplace skills employers are demanding – like nowhere else.
 
“I’m excited to speak to students and staff about the opportunities the IoT will offer them and the wider benefits it will have for the wider community.”
 
Laurel Penrose, Principal and Chief Executive of Bath College, commented: “Bath College is delighted to be part of this ground breaking initiative. The opportunities this will bring to our students through the collaboration with employers and fellow Colleges and university is significant as it brings together the expertise of industry, state of the art resources and strength and depth of Further Education skills delivery. This will be of huge benefit to Bath and North East Somerset, as well as the whole wider region.”

 
Dr Paul Phillips CBE, Principal and Chief Executive of the Weston College Group, commented: “We are thrilled to be launching the WEIoT, and to welcome the Minister to witness the investment that this initiative is bringing. The WEIoT will significantly influence skills development and innovation on both a regional and national basis and the WEIoT strength is working collaboratively with other institutes and employers.”
 
In December 2019, the consortium appointed Claire Arbery as the Director of the WEIoT. Claire has been pivotal to the mobilisation of the project, Claire commented on the importance of the investment for the area: “The WEIoT funding has created opportunities for the educational partners to invest in cutting edge technology to provide their learners and employers with facilities to drive forward the developments needed to help build recovery. The focus on technical skills and education offered by the collaborative approach will bring wider benefits and the IoT will be able to support learners who may not have thought that higher level skills training was for them using our digital connectivity to its full potential.”

 
The West of England Combined Authority has also contributed £500.000 towards the project, and this funding has been used to support the digital capability toolkit for the WEIoT, so that all FE partners can be upskilled to deliver digital lessons.

www.weiot.ac.uk
 

 

Announcement, News

College Reopening Info for Further Education Students

College reopening

 

Please note all plans are subject to any changes the Government might make around social distancing, travelling and education provision.
 

We have considered very carefully our strategy in reopening the College in light of Government guidance. The safety of all our College community has been at the forefront of our work in managing closure, lockdown and now return. It is with this in mind that we are taking a very cautious, staged approach.
 

Our focus for the rest of the summer term will continue to be on developing and delivering remote learning, with an additional emphasis on providing one-to-one or small group support.
 

There will also be the potential from the 1st July for curriculum areas who need to do practical work to invite in students, obviously with social distancing measures in place. Where we have students who are struggling to access remote learning, or need specific support, we will also provide the opportunity for some of them to attend.
 

Please look at the guidance below so that you can identify which parts are relevant to you.
 

1) If you are at the end of your first year and will be returning in September

Please continue to check your emails over the coming weeks as you may be invited to re-enrol for September by using our online, virtual enrolment process. You may also be contacted by your tutor to discuss your options.
 

2) If you are at the end of your course and are not returning

Please liaise with your tutor or course leader about the most appropriate time to return any college owned items or collect any portfolio work or personal belongings. You will not be allowed to access college without prior permission and consent by the college.
 
3) If you are at the end of your course and want to go onto a new course in September
 

You need to ensure that you have applied online via the college website for the course you wish to begin in September. You can email us on info@bathcollege.ac.uk or contact us on our live web chat service on our website if you have any questions regarding this. Once you have applied, you will be advised of your next steps. If you want to explore various options, why not register for our virtual open day on the 30th June where you can explore everything we have to offer and get some more advice.
 

4) If you are at the end of your course but still need to do some assessments before you finish

You may be invited to come into College after July 1st so please look out for some communication from your Tutor or Lecturer.
 

5) If you are an applicant to the College and will be starting in September.
 

Please continue to check your emails as we will be touch as soon as possible with important information about how you can safely enroll at Bath College for your start in September.
 

Further information

Students who will be invited to return to College for some classes

  • Only a very limited number of students will be asked to attend College. If you are not contacted directly by someone from the College, you should not attend.
  • You will be told when to come in and you need to stick to those times for everyone’s safety.
  • You should only come into College after being invited if you are able to get here safely – your tutor will talk to you about this.
  • If you are under 18 we will ask your parent/carer to confirm they agree for you to come in.We recognise that not all students may wish to return at the current time and that some may not be able to due to health conditions or for the protection of family members. Attendance at College will therefore not be mandatory, and students will continue to be able to access learning remotely. Students will not be penalised if they are not able to attend classes.
     

    Travel

  • Government guidance is currently to avoid the use of public transport where possible. We recognise that some of you will be reliant on public transport to get to College and before agreeing to come in you should talk to your family and Lecturer/Tutor about this.
  • We recommend, if possible, that you ask someone in your own household to give you a lift to College
  • The College bus service will be operating but on a revised and limited service.
  • We have been working with the bus company to devise a timetable based around the revised College days and the demand on routes from students.
  • The maximum number of students able to travel on an individual bus will be reduced significantly so that all passengers are able to practice appropriate social distancing.
  • We must know if advance if you are planning to use the service so that we can plan routes. We will shortly be sending out a questionnaire regarding travel to groups that we will be inviting to return by email. Please ensure you return this questionnaire.
  • No passes will be issued. Passage will be on a pay-as-you-go basis and we will send you details of this if you are invited in.
  • If you are in receipt of a travel bursary will continue to receive this if you are asked to come into College.
     

    College Facilities

    Not all College facilities will be available when we reopen, please see below:
     

    Facilities open:

    • LRC – limited spaces
    • Student Welfare
    • Student Services
    • IT services
    • First-Aid

     

    Facilities which will not be open:

    • Cafes: You must bring your own food and drink to College unless you are entitled to free College meals.
    • Sanctuary, although alternative provision will be available.

     

    5) Other changes and restrictions

    There will a number of other changes put in place to ensure the safety of member of both the College and the wider community and to reduce the risk of the spread of infection. You will be expected to adhere to an additional Code of Conduct when you are at College.
     

    COVID code of conduct

    In the interests of public health and in order to keep all members of the College community safe, we have developed a COVID code of conduct for students which will remain in place until the requirement for social distancing is removed. Students will not be allowed to return to College unless they have verified that they have read and agreed to this code of conduct. If this is broken in any way, the student will be immediately asked to leave the College campus and disciplinary action will be taken. The code of conduct is here: Code of Conduct COVID19
     

  • News

    Applying to Bath College for 2020? What to expect and what we are doing FAQ’s

     

    Updated 14th May 2020 12.26pm

     

    Given the current situation with COVID-19 nationally, we are conducting our interview and applications process slightly differently this year to ensure that you are fully supported and clear of what is expected of you. We have compiled a list of FAQ’s you might have about applications, and will be adding to it as more questions come in so please check back here if you have any questions.

     

    If you have a question that’s not detailed on here, or want some general information please contact admissions by emailing AdmissionsFT@bathcollege.ac.uk
     
    Following new Government guidance, we are currently evaluating next steps for re-opening the College. Our planning is underpinned by the principle that the safety of our students and staff is paramount and we will ensure all health, safety and security measures are in place, following all official guidance before returning.
     

    If you are a full-time applicant with a place at College for 2020/21, please be assured that you will still be able to start your student life in September and we will be in touch very soon to explain what that will look like.

     

    If you are a returning student, we will also advise you very soon about the next steps.
     
    If you are an apprentice or adult learner, we will be in touch to advise you about employers and individual courses over the next few weeks.
     

    Whatever the next few months brings, we are here to support you. If you have any concerns please email closure@bathcollege.ac.uk
     
    The College has now reverted to online teaching and remote learning due to the Covid 19 outbreak and our staff and indeed students are working incredibly hard to support one another complete their qualifications. We are seeing some amazing results. Our team is also working hard to support new applicants.

    We understand that now is a challenging and unsettling time for students. We are monitoring the national situation and government guidance very closely. Rest assured, this page will be updated regularly in line with any changes of policy or guidance.

     


     

    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

     

    If I apply what will happen to my application next?

    Great news, we can’t wait to hear from you. We know there is a little uncertainty about exams at the moment so we want to make your transition to Bath College as simple as possible. Therefore if your current predicted grades meet the entry criteria for the course you are applying for, you will be guaranteed a conditional offer at our college. As part of the condition there are a couple of courses (Music and Performing Arts) which will expect you to complete an online task of two, but you will be advised of that in your offer. Welcome on board.

     

    I have a conditional offer already and it is based on achieving certain GCSE results. What happens now?

    Your original conditions for your course would have been based on you achieving certain grades in your exams. Given the uncertainty around exams currently, we are writing to each of you individually to let you know that we will use your predicted grades now instead. Welcome on board. Your offer with us is safe and we don’t want you to worry. Make sure you accept your place so we can get excited about meeting you again.

     

    With GCSE and A Level exams being cancelled, how will grades be calculated?

    Following the cancellation of examinations for GCSE and A levels during the national Covid 19 epidemic, we have been awaiting advice as to how awarding bodies would enable grades to be calculated for learners. In the case of A levels and GCSE’s for the following awarding bodies AQA, OCR, Pearson, WJEC Eduqas, ASDAN and City & Guilds the advice is as follows;

     

    Teachers will be asked to make a fair judgement of what they believe their students would have achieved should they have undertaken the exam. To form this judgement, they will be asked to take into account all ways in which their students will have demonstrated their learning and will be also use understanding of their student’s knowledge obtained through homework tasks, class performance, coursework and mock exams. Schools and colleges are awaiting further advice on how these grades should be allocated to ensure parity and fairness. For students working on functional skills, technical and vocational programmes, we are awaiting further clarification by the relevant awarding bodies on how grades will be allocated.

     

    Please click HERE for current guidance provided by ofqual for further information.

     

    Do you know when college will return to normal?

    The answer is no, not at the moment. The national situation is very fluid. However, we are monitoring the government guidance very closely and will provide any updates as soon as we know of any.

     

    Are you still accepting applications for September 2020?

    Yes, we are still welcoming applications on all of our courses and you will be offered a conditional place at college based on your predicted grades.

     

    Will the September 2020 intake be postponed?

    Bath College is closely monitoring the situation and students will be updated if the Government proposes to enact any decisions that could affect start dates. This is a complex and evolving situation so please bear with us.

     

    Will the college be asking learners and staff to work remotely next academic year?

    The College has now moved to online and remote learning teaching for the rest of the academic year. There is no update currently as to whether this will be required in September 2020.

     

    Is it worth me applying late with many things being on hold around the country?

    We are actively accepting applications now and we encourage you to make an application. You will receive a prompt response and offer based on your predicted grades. Making an application now will be a really positive move for your future.

     

    How will students be assessed for their final grades?

    We are awaiting final guidance from OFQUAL and the awarding bodies about the agreed process and will provide updates and soon as we receive them.

     
     

    News

    Riley Phillips – Bath College Case Study – IT

     

    Riley is one of our hard working BTEC IT students, who is also currently working part time at an IT company called SoVisionIT, Riley is really enjoying his course, and his part time job is helping him get valuable work experience in aspects of cyber security, the sector he would like to go into after he completes his BTEC.

     

    We had a chat with Riley to find out what it’s like to be an IT student at Bath College, and what he does in his part time job.

     

    What course do you study at Bath College?

    I study Information Technology BTEC Level 3

     

    What part of your course do you enjoy the most?

    The most enjoyable aspect of the course would be the Web development with Steven Harries. I enjoy coding, and Steve’s class is all about that. My future goal in IT is to become a member of a cyber security firm. HTML is a great starting point, to find an error which could lead to the development of my problem finding skills.

     

    What have you done on your course that you think has been valuable?

    I feel like the most valuable part of my course is the multi-subject part, being able to experience nearly all fields in the IT industry and being able to communicate with others who have the same interest of IT as I do.

     

    What made you apply to Bath College?

    I applied for Bath College to expand my knowledge in IT and achieve qualifications that can be shown on my CV and help me later in life.

     

    What are you doing now/what would you like to do in the future?

    I am currently working on software testing. This allows for me to gather experience finding errors and bugs within programs that will need to be always stable. This is similar to work they do in cyber security which is the IT field I would like to go in, in the future.

     

    Can you describe a typical day on your job?

    I test websites that are used to control tracking systems, web applications etc, clicking each button making sure that it does what it was programmed to do. I work with the development team, they make/fix software designed mainly for websites from clients. They finalise it, pass it on to me and I try my best to break the system. Discovering errors which then can be fixed, preventing future errors.

     

    What piece of advice would you give to students looking at enrolling on a BTEC IT Course?

    The best piece of advice I would give to students is to just go for it. IT may look difficult to some people, or that they can’t understand anything, but however this course is what eliminates those thoughts. If you’re interested in the subject and want to study more, don’t hesitate and just go for it!

     

    If you’re interested in enrolling on our BTEC IT course, you can find it by clicking here. You can find our full IT Course list by clicking here.

     

    If you’re interested in IT Leisure Courses, we do evening courses in HTML and CSS.

     

    News

    Covid-19 College Updates

    **Updated 16.47 17th June** Fully accessible link here
     
     
    Bath College campuses are closed to all but a small selection of learners until further notice following the Government’s announcement regarding the Coronavirus. Tutors and teaching staff will keep in touch with students during the closure to aid learning from home.
     
    Bath College’s Safe Space for vulnerable learners is open and students have been contacted individually with invitations.
     
    Staff are all working remotely at this time, so are contactable via email, but may take slightly longer to respond than normal as they are teaching online.
     
    We know that many young people are anxious, so we want to reassure you that our full-time courses will be safely starting and we will explain what this will look like practically in due course and are following government guidelines carefully. Please click here for updates on the reopening of College for Further Education Students (post-16 provision). If you would like some tasks relating to your course to start ahead of September, email admissionsFT@bathcollege.ac.uk and read more here.
     
    Please check the website, social media and your emails regularly for updates.

     

    All students and parents have been emailed. If you have any queries please contact the College on closure@bathcollege.ac.uk. You can also read the letter sent to parents/guardians here.
     

    Laurel Penrose, Principal & Chief Executive

     
     

     
    FURTHER INFORMATION
     
    Click here for Department of Education Guidance: Closure of educational settings: information for parents and carers
     
    Click here for Ofqual’s guidance on exams and awarded assessments.
     

    Click here for B&NES information on applying for welfare support.
     
    Click here for Parent/Carer FAQs
     
    Click here for a list by B&NES of useful links about support for council tax, food banks, housing, debt and grants.
     
    Emails are being sent to students and parents/carers that students have consented to be informed. If you did not receive it, you may wish to change your email address the College holds for you on ProPortal.
     

    ‘Closed’ does not mean you don’t need to study
    Neither of our campuses will be open for normal lessons. This means that during the next few months, you will be having online or remote learning that you’ll need to do at home. Our lecturers and managers have been planning for this over the last few weeks and have done a great job in setting up arrangements for this to happen. The way it will work will be slightly different depending on which course you are doing but all College staff are committed to ensuring you are successful in your course this year.
     
    Tutorials
    You will still be supported by a Primary Tutor during this period. This Tutor may not be your regular Primary Tutor but they will be a lecturer you already know. All Primary Tutors have been planning how this will happen and will ensure that you get all the support you need to progress on your course. They will be ringing you every day and will share tutorial schedules with you at the start of the week. (When they ring you, their number is likely to who as ‘withheld’.
     
    English and Maths
    If you are studying towards English and/or Maths GCSE or Functional Skills, you will have no doubt heard that many exams have been cancelled this year. Grades are still likely to be awarded though and so it is going to become even more important that you take part in the work that your English or Maths teachers are going to be giving to you as those grades might be given based on what progress you have made in class (and now at home). Your teachers will explain more.
     
    Welfare and Safeguarding
    Our Welfare and Safeguarding Staff are still around to support you and so if you have a problem or if you have been talking to one of the team up to now, you will be able to do so, just not in person. They will be available during normal College hours on the numbers below.
     
    07815 491988
    07966 980534
     
    Accessing IT at home
    Please contact your lecturer or Primary Tutor if you know that you will not be able to access IT from home.
    You’ll get another email today or tomorrow from me with some FAQs and advice on working at home but in the meantime please email closure@bathcollege.ac.uk if you have any specific questions.
     
    Apprentices and Employers
    Please read our full Q&A here.
     
     

    News

    Coronavirus Advice for Places of Education

    Updated 17th March 6.40pm
     
     
    While we have no confirmed cases of Coronavirus, the College has taken the difficult decision to suspend face-to-face teaching for the rest of this week, starting on Wednesday 18th March. We will be closely monitoring the national and local situation over the next few days and will evaluate our position before the end of Friday 20th March. We expect students to be back at College in the week commencing Monday 23rd March unless we inform you otherwise.

     

    If you have a vital examination in the next few days, we will be in touch via email to give you more details. All students and parents have been emailed. If you have any queries please contact the College on closure@bathcollege.ac.uk.
     

    Laurel Penrose, Principal & Chief Executive

     

     
    This guidance will be reviewed daily by 4pm until further notice.
     
    If you are a parent of a Bath College student and have not received updates from the College on the Coronavirus situation, please contact Jordan Wilkins on Jordan.Wilkins@bathcollege.ac.uk stating your son/daughter’s name, date of birth and the email address you would like the updates to come to.

     
     

     

    Department for Education Coronavirus Helpline

     

    A helpline has been set up to answer questions about COVID-19. Staff, Parents and Young People can contact the helpline as follows:

     

    Phone: 0800 046 8687

    Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk

    Opening Hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

     

    Where to find the latest information

     

    You can find regular updates on COVID-19 (Coronavirus) HERE

     

    You can find the Government Advice for Educational setting HERE

     

     

    News

    Project SEARCH Interns secure jobs in Bath

     

    Young people with learning difficulties or disabilities, who want to increase their employability skills and find paid work, can apply for our Project SEARCH internship programme. Each year Bath & North East Somerset Council provides internships from September through to June in professional work environments. The interns learn transferrable skills working in three different departments for ten weeks. This year, our interns have worked in places such as B&NES Offices, Better Leisure Centre, The Roman Baths, Charlton House Care Home as well as many other places.

     

    During their time on the course the interns receive on-site tutoring from Bath College and Job Coach support from Virgin Care.  The partners also work with local organisations to help interns find vacancies and apply for jobs.

     

    Two of this years cohort of Project SEARCH Interns have secured jobs and had a tea party to celebrate. Jake will be working as a Porter at The Roman Baths, a job he did on his first rotation of his internship. Jake is really excited to be starting his new job;

     

    “The Roman Baths was my favourite job, and I’m really looking forward to starting at The Roman Baths!”

     

    Jake’s Grandparents attended the tea party to celebrate and they were absolutely thrilled that he had secured his favourite job, they said:

     

    “This time last year Jake was a very nervous boy, but Project SEARCH has really helped with his confidence. It’s wonderful to see him being social and happy”

     

    Jake on the Job at Better Leisure Centre

     

    Matthew, another Project SEARCH Intern has secured a job working as a Porter up at The University of Bath, and says he is ‘excited to do something new’. Matthew’s favourite rotation was working at The B&NES Offices, as he enjoyed being trained on how to use the computer for work.

     

    Matthew (left) & Jake (right)

    Matthew (left) & Jake (right)

     

    Councillor Dine Romero, Council Leader said:

     

    “This is the 12th year we’ve run Project SEARCH and over that time it’s proved hugely successful with our graduates finding community-based employment through the programme. It really is a fantastic way to experience the world of work while developing employability skills.  At a time when the average employment rate in the UK  for adults with a learning difficulty or disability has dropped to just six per cent, its essential we provide opportunities like this to help more young people find sustainable employment.”

     

    Project Search is open to young people with learning difficulties or disabilities who are aged 18-25, and applications for next academic year are now open. If you know someone who would like to apply for a placement please click here to go to the Project SEARCH Application page.

     

    Following successful completion of the nine-month internship graduates are presented with certificates at a special ceremony in front of an audience of family members, programme partners, local businesses and council staff.

     

    News

    Up and coming local talent competes in Chef v Chef 2020

     

    Bath College hosted their annual Chef v Chef competition on 25th February. Six current local chefs, as well as groups of aspiring students competed in a variety of competitions; the Chefs vying for the Chef Champion title, and the students for best team, best knife skills and best Front of House service.

     

    The morning focussed on the student competitions, students arrived and grouped into their teams. They then had 30 minutes to plan their two course dinner, including deciding what wines would pair with their food, and who would be in the kitchen and who would lead on the service. Each group had to produce a paupiette of plaice served with a suitable sauce and potato garnish of their choice, as well as a chocolate tart with appropriate accompaniment for dessert. The student selected to lead on service then took part in the Front of House challenge, demonstrating a napkin fold, cocktail and role play scenarios to the judges; Sylwia Ooger from Lympstone Manor and Stuart Shepherd, retired Front of House Manager. Once the students had completed their dishes, they presented one plate to the judges, for tasting and assessing, and served the other plates inside Bath College’s mock restaurant, where they were once again assessed on their customer interaction, their wine suggestions and how they had laid their tables.

     

     

    Whilst this was happening, over in the other kitchen, more students were competing in a knife skills challenge. They had just 30 minutes to prepare 6 different vegetables, and cut them in 6 different classic styles (macedoine, paysanne, brunoise, julienne and chiffonade), and were marked from everything from their hygiene to the accuracy of their cuts.

     

     

    The second half of the day was the Professional Challenge, 7 chefs from across the local area were shortlisted to compete; Andrew Jenkinson from Lucknam Park, Christian Orner from Salt Co, Dean Toon from Blunsdon Hotel, Jethro Lawrence from Woolley Grange, Henry Scott from Henry’s Restaurant, Frazer Carroll from No. 15 Great Pulteney Street and Jason Ramplin. Each professional had two and a half hours to compile a main course using game meat, and a dessert using Solkiki Chocolate, Williams Pear and Hazelnuts. Bath College students volunteered to act as Commis chefs for each professional during the challenge, to assist them with cooking but also to learn from the Professionals as they cooked. As with the student challenge, the Chefs needed to produce two plates; one for judging and one for presentation. The dishes looked fantastic, and were on display during the awards reception.

     

     

    The judges really had their work cut out for them, and spent a while in the kitchen deliberating over who deserved the title. Once they had decided they joined the drinks reception ready for the awards presentation. Delicious canapés had been prepared by the students, and were being served with an assortment of drinks. The first award announced was the Knife Skills Challenge, which was taken by Joseph Rowe; next was the Front of House Challenge which was taken by Daniel Shermilt. The Team Challenge was won by Team Marcus Wareing, consisting of Lucy, Emily and Eryn. Finally, the Chef v Chef Champion was due to be announced, and Dean Toon from Woolley Grange was announced as the 2020 Chef V Chef Champion. Each competition took a long time to judge as each entry was so close, Scott Lucas from The Crafty Chef, and one of the judges commented:

     

    “Sometimes you can pick a winner just by their dish, but today it was element by element, it was that close”

     

     

    We want to say thank you to all our esteemed judges for taking time out of their day to judge the dishes:

     

     

    We also want to congratulate all our winners:

     

    Chef V Chef Champion

    1st Place – Dean Toon
    2nd Place – Frazer Carroll
    3rd Place – Henry Scott

     

    Team Challenge

    1st Place – Team Marcus Wareing (Lucy, Emily and Eryn)
    2nd Place – Team Angela Hartnett (Millie, Vicky and Ciara)
    3rd Place – Team Paul Bocuse (Ollie, Dan and Sophie)

     

    Front of House Challenge

    1st Place – Daniel Shermilt
    2nd Place – Destiny Smith
    3rd Place – Emily Hunt

     

    Knife Skills Challenge

    1st Place – Joseph Rowe
    2nd Place – Jack Goult
    3rd Place – Rebekah Paisley

     

    News

    Students prepare for official Bath Half Massage Tent

     

    Students from Bath College have been busy learning sports massage techniques ahead of the Bath Half Marathon on 15th March.
     
    Spa Therapies, Sport and Beauty Therapy students from the College will be running the official massage tent in the Runners’ Village.
     
    They have been practicing a four-minute cool down lactic acid flush sports massage to relieve the painful muscles of the competitors, who will have just completed the 13.1 mile course.
     
    Diana Rowe, Spa and Complementary Therapies Lecturer at Bath College, said:
     
    “After the success of last year’s massage tent we have had 50 students together in our College Spa practising their techniques.
     
    “This is a fantastic opportunity for them to progress their skills and also lots of fun. We can’t wait for race day.”
     
    The College students will be offering all runners a cool-down massage for £5, donating 10% of the proceeds to Bloodwise.
     
    Students are offering pre-event massages on 12th March in the College Spa for £17 and post-event Thai compress massages on 18th March for £25. To book in, call the Bath College Academy on 01225 328511.
     
     

    News

    East Met West at The Mint Room in Bath

     

    The Mint Room Bath was the venue for the latest Chefs’ Forum event which saw a celebration of Indian gastronomy led by Executive Chef Soyful Alom.  The first impression of Soyful’s food was of vibrancy and culinary excellence as he showcased his menu, perfected over the last seven years of heading-up the kitchen in the popular Bath eaterie.

     

    Ever since its launch in 2012, The Mint Room Bath has been a much-talked-about foodie destination as Soyful offers diners elegant and vibrant plates, showcasing the very best in local produce. The restaurant is very stylish and the food very modern and the team now boast four sites, including the newly opened Bandook in Bath’s city centre on the former Carluccio’s site.

     

     

    Soyful invited students from Bath College and Gloucestershire College into his kitchen to prepare Indian canapés for some fifty industry professionals that were to fill this fashionable venue at midday.

     

    Soyful said:

     

    “It was a pleasure to have the students in my kitchen today.  I was very impressed with their existing knowledge of flavours and spice combinations, their enthusiasm and willingness to learn was really pleasing.  I have offered trial shifts and a free dinner to three outstanding students from Bath College today, that shows how impressed I was with these and all students who participated in today’s event, the second that we have hosted for The Chefs’ Forum”

     

     

    Soyful, inspired by his mother’s cooking has been cooking for over 20 years.  He relished the chance to pass over skills he learnt to the next generation.

     

    Mark Hyde-Catton, Chef Lecturer at Gloucestershire College said

     

    “It has been really inspirational for our students to work with a group of professional Asian chefs, for many it is their first attempt at cooking authentic, fine dining Indian cuisine and experimenting with such intense and rich flavour.  It was also a great chance for them to get to know their peers from Bath College – They all got on very well indeed.  We welcome chefs like Soyful into our teaching kitchens with The Chefs’ Forum Academy, that we implemented in the college in 2016.  The curriculum enrichment programme really forges links with employers, opens up opportunities and makes our students more work-ready on leaving college”

     

    Alex Byrne from Walter Rose gave a fantastic beef butchery masterclass, showcasing the finest cuts of Stokes Marsh Farm steak. Soyful then cooked-up the steaks so the chefs were able to sample the finest quality Wiltshire beef, many of whom were already customers of Walter Rose, award-winning catering butcher.

     

     

    Another highlight of the day was the Welsh Fine Food Cluster leading a fascinating and insightful Welsh food sampling session. Ffion Jones and Dafydd Jones gave a very interesting talk and tasting of Welsh cheeses, condiments and sauces.

     

     

    The visiting chefs and students relished the chance to have a glimpse of complex Indian cooking techniques, handed down from generation to generation.  Soyful performed an excellent cookery demo of seabass moilee, one of the most popular dishes on his menu, usually made with mixed seafood as sampled in extra portions that came from the kitchen for the chefs to enjoy.

     

    Bath College student Daniel Shemilt very much enjoyed his Indian cookery experience, he said

     

    “Working at The Mint Room today under Soyful and his team has been different and very inspirational.  It was great to learn how to make samosas by hand and I’m delighted to have won a meal and trial shift here on the back of it.”

     

    Eryn Beales (front of house) and Ellis Ali (kitchen), both of Bath College have also been awarded dinner at The Mint Room and a trial shift with a view to a part time job if successful, for being nominated as Soyful’s ‘Stars of the Day’ – A great result all round.

     

    The Chefs’ Forum holds quarterly events in the Bath & Cotswolds area and forty chef events per year nationally.  Any chefs wishing to get involved should contact catherine@redcherry.uk.com

     

    Photo credit: www.jcampbellphotography.co.uk

     

    News

    Bath Half Family Fun Run 2020 sponsored by Bath College opens for entries

     

    The 2020 Bath Half Family Fun Run is open for entries and with 1250 spaces for runners, it is set to be the biggest fun run the race organisers have held to date. This year’s Fun Run is sponsored by Bath College, who are also providing massages in the Runner’s Village to those who are running the half marathon.

     

    The Family Fun run is open to all ages and abilities and takes place immediately after the start of the half marathon, starting and finishing under the main gantry in Great Pulteney Street. The course is ¾ mile long and completely traffic free. Runners use the first section of the half marathon course, running down Pulteney Road to North Parade Road before turning and running back again.

     
    Entry to the Family Fun Run costs £6.80 for a child under 16yrs and £10.80 for an adult, and there is a free t-shirt for every entrant and a medal and goody bag for all finishers.

     
    Race Director, Andrew Taylor said “We are delighted to welcome Bath College back as a local partner for the Bath Half. As the largest community event in the city, we particularly value the support of the local community”
     

    “The Family Fun Run is an ideal way to introduce people to running in a safe race environment and to find out what it is like to run a bit of the main course too. It is great fun and open for people of all ages and abilities to take part. It is hugely popular and every year the fun run sells out very quickly, so if you are keen then my advice is to sign up as soon as you can.
     

    “If you have a loved one running the Bath Half you can take part in the fun run and still have plenty time to be finished and support them on the course, it is also a good way to keep the kids entertained while you are waiting to cheer your runner over the finish line.
     

    Laurel Penrose, Principal and CEO of Bath College said “We are delighted to be sponsoring the Bath Half Family Fun run again this year. We know what an important event this is to the Bath Community and as a college with our roots in the heart of the city, we feel this is a fantastic partnership”
     

    The Bath Half Family Fun Run 2020 takes place on Sunday 15th March. Entries can be completed online at www.bathhalf.co.uk/entries. General entries for the Bath Half are sold out but there are still some charity places available on the website www.bathhalf.co.uk
     

    News

    Bath College Care Academy hosts yet another successful Learn a Skill Day

     

    On Thursday January 16th the Bath College Care Academy Learn a Skill Day took place at the City Centre Campus.

     

    This has become an annual event at the Academy and this year’s event was bigger than ever. The aim of the day is for students to work with practitioners, as well as people they support, to participate in practical workshops to learn a new skill for the health and social care sector; and thanks to the generosity and enthusiasm of the practitioners and services involved, there was such a broad a range of opportunities on offer during the day.

     

     

    Workshops were facilitated on Occupational Therapy, Care and Support Work, Youth Offending Team Support work, Physiotherapy, Mental Health Nursing and Psychosis awareness, Midwifery Skills, supporting Children’s Emotional Health and Wellbeing, Radiography, Orthoptics, Understanding some experiences of young LGBT+ people and social work.

     

    Practitioners who took part were from Designability, The Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust, Way Ahead Care, Wiltshire Council, B&NES Early Intervention in Psychosis service, Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, Butterfly Care, Off the Record (BANES), Dimensions, Wiltshire Health and Care, Relax Kids, Banes Youth Offending Team and Winchester University.

     

    As well as discussions, the activities they took part in included: experiencing some Physiotherapy exercises, finding out what it is like to be moved in a hoist, looking through prisms, trying out relaxation exercises and experiencing dementia through a virtual reality headset.
    As always it proved to be a fantastic way to encourage learners to consider career areas they may not have thought about otherwise, to explore a range of knowledge and skills and to see how these skills are so transferable within the sector.
    The learners and staff enjoyed hands on, experiential activities and working with practitioners, and those they support, to discover more about the sector as well as the skills and knowledge needed for the range of roles within it.

     

     

    As well as facilitating workshops, Practitioners had the opportunity to attend other workshops.

    One of the visiting Practitioners said:

    “I really enjoyed working with your students, and learning alongside them. They were very accepting of having an unknown adult in their midst. The workshops I attended were really informative, and the students appeared very engaged.”

     

    Some learners have secured work experience placements and others have already starting researching next steps for new career paths they would not have even considered before.
    Some of the learner’s comments are listed below.

     

    “Everybody was very friendly and informative as well as letting me know about how to become what they are!”

    “This really helps me to look further into different careers and what I would like to do!”

    “I liked learning things that I didn’t know before, such as how people can benefit from help from us”

    “The employers were very good at explaining what kind of obstacles comes in with their jobs”

     

    Staff also had an amazing day and have talked about how much this has helped them to broaden their understanding of the sector and enhance their teaching. Thank you again to all involved.

     

    Apprenticeships, News

    Bath College Apprenticeships and Jobs Fair returns this March

     
    Young people will get the opportunity to meet potential apprenticeship providers and employers at Bath College’s annual Apprenticeships and Jobs Fair.

     

    This year’s event, which will be more interactive than previous years, is taking place at the Assembly Rooms on 4th March between 11am and 4pm, giving local businesses the chance to showcase their vacancies to local people.
     
    This year’s lead sponsors are B&NES, Curo, EDF Hinkley Point C and Persimmon Homes all whom will be found in the Octagon offering apprenticeship opportunities.
     
    The fair will be categorised by the types of careers on offer and will include Agriculture, Environmental and Animal Care, Business and Administration, Care Services, Catering and Hospitality, Construction, Creative and Design, Digital, Education and Childcare, Engineering and Manufacturing, Hair and Beauty, Health and Science, Legal, Finance and Accounting and Sales, Marketing and Procurement.
     
    Last year’s event was attended by over 1000 young people, with a number of these going on to secure positions at local companies after attending and making the most of networking opportunities.
     
    The Apprenticeships and Jobs Fair is open to people of all ages as opportunities will vary in level. Students from schools and colleges will be in attendance but adults looking for opportunities are encouraged to attend also.
     
    Ellie Selway, Electrical ApprenticeEllie Selway is currently doing a Level 3 Electrical Apprenticeship through Bath College.
     
    She said: “Personally from my experience this is the best route to go down you get paid whilst you’re learning and get a variety of hands on work and theory, an apprenticeship offers a lot of opportunities for progression and as long as you have the right attitude and make the most of what is being offered it can take you far.”
     
    Event organiser John Jefferies said: “The fair is a great opportunity to find out about local apprenticeships at Bath College and beyond ranging from Level 2 right up to degree level.
     
    “The fair is growing year on year and we have lots of new employers joining us for what will be a more interactive event than ever before.”
     
    The event is taking place on 4th March 11am-4pm at the Assembly Rooms and is free to attend.
     

    Limited spaces are available to exhibit, please contact john.jefferies@bathcollege.ac.uk for info.
     
    For more details about apprenticeships at Bath College visit www.bathcollege.ac.uk/apprenticeships
     

    News

    Bath College Business Entrepreneurs enjoy sale success at The 2019 Bath Christmas Market

     

     

    Two teams from our BTEC Level 3 Business course have spent the last three months creating their own businesses in the lead up to The Bath Christmas Market. Each team had a Managing Director, came up with a team name and product ideas, and then a business and financial plan for how their business would run.

     

    During the months leading up to the Christmas Market they have been working hard behind the scenes, alongside lectures and project work, coming up with posters, and sourcing materials to make their products. Once they had completed their Business Plans they went head to head for the first time, competing for a £50 investment from Metro Bank. This £50 would be a baseline cost to buy materials for their products and print posters and flyers. The pitch to Metro Bank was styled like Dragons Den, with the two teams outlining their business plans and financial forecasts to The Director and Manager of Metro Bank, Chris and Yani. Chris and Yani couldn’t pick a winner and so agreed to invest £50 in both teams.

     

    The teams worked closely with local businesses and business leaders, in particular Taste of Bath and Minuteman Press. Helen from Taste of Bath, who had held a stall at The Bath Christmas Market a few times, shared her knowledge of how to sell and grab people’s attention at The Christmas Market, as well as provide advice on their products and set up. She also introduced them to Dave at Minuteman Press, who provided large posters free of charge to help their stall stand out. The team at Minuteman also helped with printing the teams hand drawn cards, and Helen from Taste of Bath visited the students at their stall, despite currently running one of her own, to motivate and give them some last minute pointers.

     

     

    Helen said:
    “It’s been wonderful to see the Bath College Business students grow in confidence over the months leading up to the Bath Christmas Market, and now all their hard work has paid off and they have had a successful two days of sales. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the process, and I’m glad that I’ve been able to help and offer advice on both their products and The Bath Christmas Market, well done Bath College Entrepreneurs!”

     

    The two teams ran the Charity Chalet at The Christmas Market on Wednesday evening (residents night) and all day on Thursday. Team one named themselves ‘Eutur’ and ‘Giving Gifts’; Eutur sold beautifully scented and festively wrapped Reed Diffusers, and was made up of Fergus Blythe (Managing Director), Dala Hodgson, Emily Hayden, Will Davis, Will Dugan, Eleanor Higham and Alex Godrige. Giving Gifts were selling hand drawn Christmas Cards and an array of beautiful jewelleries, they were made up of Ben Betteridge (Managing Director), Freddie Coulson, Emily McCarthy, Mitch Hooper, Kirsten Harkness, Libby Cartwright and Jack Ewings.

     

     

    Between the two teams they made a total of £697 over the two days, and each team will be donating 50% of their proceeds to a chosen charity. Eutur have chosen to donate 50% of their proceeds to Make a Wish, whilst Giving Gifts will donate 50% to The Childrens Hospice South West. It’s been a fantastic experience for the students, the Bath Christmas Market is well attended by residents and tourists alike, and they have had the opportunity to network and collaborate with local businesses. The students worked extremely hard, working through a drizzly first evening, and a very busy second day.

     

    Kate Knights, Business Lecturer who has led on this project said:
    “Our BTEC Level 3 Business Students have been working tirelessly for the last 3 months in preparation for this event, doing everything from bidding for investment to market research to manufacturing the products themselves. I couldn’t be prouder of the hard work they’ve put in and it’s been great to see them reap the benefits and be quite so popular at the market”

     

    Team Giving Gifts Managing Director Ben commented:
    “I’ve learned how competitive Market stalls are and the importance of good advertising”

     

    This is just one of a number of fantastic opportunities available to our Business students, we have a range of Business courses suited to all levels, including Business Level 2 and the International Business Extended Diploma. Click the linked course names to find out more, or for a list of all our Business related courses please click here.

     

    News

    Celebrating Success Case Study – International Foundation Year Student of the Year

     

    Bath College hosts the University of Bath International Foundation Year. This is a one year full time course which prepares International Students for entry into their chosen course at The University of Bath. The IFY course covers the key principles, theories and practical skills which are the standard entry criteria for the University of Bath, and broadly based on the A-level syllabus.

     

    Claudia was our International Foundation Year Student of the Year at our 2019 Celebrating Success Awards. Claudia’s citation from her tutor Larissa was absolutely glowing, and we have no doubt that Claudia was the perfect choice to receive this award, Larissa commented

     

    “Claudia was a pleasure to work with in and out of the classroom, as she contributed with happiness and enthusiasm to college life. Some students are, unknowingly, a great asset to teachers, as they set a culture of excellence and academic rigour in the classrooms, the laboratory and in student accommodation.”

     

    Claudia is now studying Chemical Engineering at Bath University, and we knew we had to ask her about her time on her IFY course!

     

    What course did you study at Bath College?

    I studied on the International Foundation Year.

     

    Why did you choose to study on the International Foundation Year?

    I knew I wanted to go to the University of Bath and the foundation year was a path to do so with my USA high school diploma.

     

    What was the most interesting thing you did on the International Foundation Year?

    The Labs were really interesting and a great way to solidify knowledge from lectures.

     

    What is a typical day like as an IFY student?

    Starting at around 9:30 am, we had class until lunch then a break then more class until around 5pm. Most of the week would be a mix of classes around these timings, though it was rare to have a day where the only break was for lunch. I had a lot of free time.

     

    What are you doing now?

    I am now studying Chemical Engineering at the University of Bath!

     

    What are your aspirations for the future?

    I would like to become a Chartered Engineer and to work on solving problems we have today such as fossil fuel alternatives and pollution management.

     

    What advice would you give to people looking to start the International Foundation Year?

    Work hard but also take some time to explore the city. Bath is beautiful and so nice to just take a walk around. Also, you’ll have a head start on all the freshers in your first year at Uni!

     

    How do you feel about winning Bath College’s International Foundation Year Student of the Year?

    I am so honored and thankful to be chosen for the award. It was such a nice surprise after so much hard work last year!

     

    Claudia has worked so hard, and now she is on her dream course at the University of Bath, we don’t think we can sign off better than Larissa, so we’ll use another one of her quotes:

     

    “Claudia has all the attributes for fantastic academic and professional careers, and as a chemical engineer could well effect any one of our lives! We wish her every success for the future!”

     

    If you’re interested in what the International Foundation Year can do for you, visit our IFY page here, or get in contact at bathfoundationyear@bathcollege.ac.uk.

    News

    Jake Cover – Case Study – Sport and Exercise Science

     

    Jake Cover is one of our amazing year 1 Sport and Exercise Science students, who, alongside his studies, trains hard at sprint hurdles with Team Bath.

     

    We caught up with Jake to ask how he go into Athletics, how he balances College work and training, and how he is finding his course.

     

    How did you get into Athletics?

    When a started secondary school I had the opportunity to try athletics and I was chosen to go to Bath University for a school athletics event. I did well and as a result started to train with Team Bath Athletics Club. I was very keen on sprint hurdles and eventually gained a place on the sprint hurdles squad.

     

    What is your favourite aspect of competing?

    I enjoy all aspects of competing including the camaraderie between athletes and having the opportunity to improve my times.

     

    What is the highest level you have competed at?

    National level including English Schools and Youth Development League National Finals.

     

    What events have you got in the near future?

    It is currently off season, however, I am training for the forthcoming (Jan) indoor season.

     

    What attracted you to the Sport and Exercise course at Bath College?

    I enjoy all aspects of sports and wanted a course which I enjoyed and had an interest in. So the Sport and Exercise Science course was perfect for me!

     

    How do you balance college/training?

    I primarily train in the evenings and weekends, so this is removed from College anyway. So far College has not impacted on my training, and my course tutor has been very supportive and talked to me about how the College will support me if any training and events may impact on my College work.

     

    How do you feel your course at the College has helped you?

    So far the course has helped me with my mindset and understanding of sport.

     

    What are your aspirations after finishing College?

    I hope that I will be able to compete professionally in Athletics. I also hope I will be able to work in the sports industry.

     

    News

    Paula Power, Bath College’s new Adult Mental Health First Aid Instructor

     

    Bath College will be running brand new First Aid courses dealing specifically with Mental Health, starting in October 2019. These courses will be run by qualified Mental Health First Aid instructors, and accredited by Mental Health First Aid England. Everyone has mental health, and better mental health is better for all of us, this is why MHFA England are dedicated to ensuring there is zero stigma to discussing mental health.

     

    Paula is one of our new Mental Health First Aid Instructors, specialising in Adult Mental Health First Aid. We did a short Q&A with her to find out why she chose to become an instructor and why she thinks Mental Health First Aid is so important.

     

    Can you tell us a little about yourself?

    I am the business owner of My White Dog and facilitator for the 1 and 2-day adult and youth courses. I am a MHFA Instructor, NLP Practitioner, Mountain Leader, with Business Studies, Further Education Certificate and Social Science at the Open University.
    I started out in a corporate environment, but always enjoyed adventure and outdoor space, climbing, mountaineering and sailing. When I realised the positive impact of my own wellbeing in this space, I went onto develop skills in education and mountaineering and led groups in the outdoors including expeditions to Africa and Asia. A rewarding role watching students age 13-18 develop latent and new skills when stretched, build resilience, team and leadership skills. I went onto explore other personal challenges when selected to take part in the first all women expedition to the geographic North Pole in 1997. 20 women relaying in teams of 4 across the arctic over 3 months. We went onto become Guinness book record holders.
    I ocassionally work in partnership with Wiltshire MIND and am affiliated with Mental Health First Aid England on raising mental health awareness, reducing stigma and how to improve wellbeing in work schools and communities.

     

    What is Mental Health First Aid?

    Mental health is part of our overall health, physical and mental wellbeing. Mental Health First Aid approach is similar to physical first aid, in preserving life and preventing a condition worsening, promoting recovery; however, as mental health is not easy to identify, it can be more complex to recognise, we teach the skills to recognise signs and symptoms. We explore language stigma, listening skills, and then how to signpost in order to help and provide hope for the future. We also explore strategies and coping strategies for our own wellbeing. Our approach is interactive engaging using group activities, various mediums, video and plenary speakers (lived experiences).

     

    Why do you think Mental Health First Aid is important?

    Currently, 1 in 4 adults will experience some form of mental health issue in their lifetime. The economic cost of mental health issues in England are estimated at £105 billion each year. In addition, 10% of primary school children suffer from a low sense of wellbeing and about 13% of young people aged 5-19 meet clinical criteria for a mental health disorder. Mental health first aid is a great early intervention towards professional help, for example, people can fully recovery from their first episode of psychosis if they receive the appropriate help.

     

    How did you get into Mental Health First Aid Facilitation?

    From my own personal experience of mental illness within my family – I recognise the impact of early intervention and an opportunity to close a significant gap within the Mental Health support system.

     

    Who do you think will benefit from Mental Health First Aid?

    Everyone will benefit as it opens channels of communication, it empowers others to reduce stigma and discrimination and raises awareness in the workplace, communities and schools.

     

    Finally, what has been your favourite part of leading these courses?

    Thought provoking and light bulb moments. Many people have come to me at the end of a course realising that awareness is the ‘tip of the iceberg’, but they feel confident going forward. It’s a journey and learning takes place in a safe and inclusive environment – many delegates go on to become advocates within work and communities

     

     

    If Paula has inspired you and you’re interested in enrolling on a Mental Health First Aid course you can find them by clicking here.

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