After a frenzied couple of weeks campaigning for votes, we are pleased to announce that Derwen College has been named Oswestry Sainsbury’s Local Charity of the Year 2015-2016. We are absolutely thrilled! Thank you to everyone who voted for us either in-store or online. We are looking forward to a fantastic 12 months working with Sainsbury’s and will keep you informed of what this opportunity means to us.
Derwen College hosted the closing celebration for the West Midlands Inclusive Skills Competition group, yesterday 17th June.
68 students from 14 colleges across England and Wales competed in 5 skill areas, Catering, Hospitality, Recycling, Word Processing and Functional Skills.
The competitions were judged by industry specialists, who were unanimous in their praise of the level of skills demonstrated by all competitors.
Vicky Nolan, Premier Inn Operations Manager, Chester (pictured below) said:
“Derwen College students have been accessing work experience placements at Premier Inn for the last 2 years. They are regarded as important members of the team and carry out a number of housekeeping, reception and restaurant service activities. The students are treated as any other member of staff and attend team briefs and various training sessions”.
Watch this space! – There is a possibility that we will host a final of the Catering competition at the Skills Show at the NEC in November – this will be a first for Inclusive Skills competitions.
Derwen College has been shortlisted to become Sainsbury’s (Oswestry) Charity of the Year 2015-2016.
This is an exciting opportunity for us to to give the students the opportunity to learn to be more independent in accommodation that is just like home. It will also give us the opportunity to work more closely with Sainsbury’s from a community and health & well-being aspect.
You can vote in-store at Sainsbury’s Oswestry, and online at www.sainsburyslocalcharity.co.uk.
Please vote, and spread the word to your family and friends that we need their votes too.
Last month the National Union of Students (NUS) held their annual National Conference in Liverpool where over one thousand young people represented their colleges and universities.
Derwen College was represented by three of our trainees who heard speeches and voted in elections and on motions at the event. Prior to the event Derwen College put forward their own motion to National Conference to request that NUS continue to develop the training programme and offer it to learners with additional needs across the country and also to explore how to make the organisation more accessible to people with learning difficulties and disabilities.
Derwen College are the first specialist providers to have put forward a motion to National Conference and the speech for the motion was given by Robin Ferguson, the first man with Down Syndrome ever to have made a speech at National Conference. Robin was allowed three minutes to make his speech rather than the ninety seconds usually allocated, he received a standing ovation for his speech and the motion was passed unanimously, this means that the motion has become policy for three years and Derwen College is at the forefront of driving forward positive change within the NUS for students with learning difficulties and disabilities.
Yesterday Maryanne Hodgkinson, Head of Arts, Media and Business Studies travelled to Windsor Castle to receive her MBE from Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge.
Maryanne was awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours list for services to Further Education for adults with learning difficulties. She has worked for Derwen College for eight years and prior to that worked with adults with learning difficulties in residential settings.
As part of her work in Arts, Media & Business Studies, Maryanne takes students out on tour (Derwen on Tour) to perform at local schools and colleges. In 2011 she took Derwen on Tour to the World Skills Show in London and showcased the students’ abilities in Makaton Signed Song and Dance
Maryanne said “really the MBE belongs to the students I work with. They are the ones that do all the hard work. I am lucky to work within the sector”