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Derwen College is proud to be part of the Natspec Conference 2022, which returns after a Covid-imposed break from face-to-face events.

The conference, on 21 and 22 June, is the largest specialist event for further education professionals who work with students with Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans and/or students funded through the high needs system.

AJ (who is a member of Derwen Dance Crew) will be presenting a speech to Natspec Conference delegates.

Held in Hinkley, Leicestershire, with a theme of ‘collaboration’, the College is involved in many different roles: as speaker, award finalist, exhibitors and visitors.

Our Student Union Board president, Amy (AJ), will be speaking at the launch of Day 2, via Zoom.

Amy is a Performing Arts student who will talk about how Derwen has improved her independence, taught her performing arts skills, and grown her confidence.

Amy’s Natspec speech

In a sneak peek from her speech, she says:

“I wanted to come to Derwen to improve my independence and to learn about performing arts, as I want to be an actor, singer and dancer (a triple threat!!).”

“My confidence has grown since I started at Derwen, which has helped me to work on loads of projects such as getting the main character role in the Christmas show this year, as Belle in Beauty and the Beast.

“Me coming to Derwen has allowed my mum to get a job – so it’s not just us students that benefit from college’s like Derwen.

“Derwen has also given me great independence skills, and I’ve had more freedom than I would ever have had at home. At home, I wouldn’t go out on my own, but here at Derwen I feel safe, and confident to walk to see my friends, go to my sessions or go for a walk on my own.

“Being the Student Union president, has developed my confidence and diplomatic skills, as well as my communication skills.”

Natspec award finalists

Our Principal & CEO Meryl Green will be attending, along with our Director of Care, Health & Well-being Karen George, and Director of Finance Andrew Smith, who is also Natspec LAs and Commissioning director.

The Natspec Awards winners will be announced on the 22 June, as the finale to the conference. Winners will be announced from eight categories. Derwen is a finalist for the Pathways into Employment award, an award which recognises how we support students into future employment through building partnerships with local and national businesses.

Derwen’s Digital Marketing and Website Officer Helen Edwards will be exhibiting at the conference, showcasing Derwen’s suite of apps which support people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) into employment. She will be demonstrating the apps along with Neil Bevan, director of Starfish Labs UK. The suite includes apps to support with vocational training in a hotel or café, one to support with independent living skills, and a CV Builder app.

It’s going to be a busy and exciting two days. Find out more at

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