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Learning Disability nurse Kelly uses specialist hearing equipment to check the ears of a student
The nursing team are Natspec finalists for their work in promoting students’ ear and hearing health.

Derwen College is very proud to be shortlisted for two Natspec Innovation Awards.

These Natspec awards recognise and celebrate innovative practice in the specialist further education sector; practices that are improving outcomes for students.

We are Natspec Awards finalists in the Innovative Approach to Mental Health and Wellbeing category. This is for a hearing project run by our nurses team alongside NHS England. The Hearing Checks Project highlighted the need for regular ear checks for students with learning difficulties and disabilities. This was especially important for students vulnerable to hearing problems. We also looked at how to make hearing tests more comfortable and accessible for students with sensory issues or anxieties around health checks.

Rocking Horse founder Gareth and actress Orla show a student how to use the video camera.
Rocking Horse have delivered workshops demonstrating to students the work that goes on behind the camera as well as in the spotlight.

Natspec finalists for Partnership working

We are also finalists in the Innovative Partnership Working category. This is for the mutually beneficial partnership we have forged with local film-making company Rocking Horse Media. Oswestry-based Rocking Horse Media are filming a pilot television comedy/drama with an inclusive theme at the College. They are also providing meaningful work experience and information to students and supported interns.

With a shared vision for promoting inclusivity in the workplace and on screen and stage, students have gained unique experiences from this partnership. Well-known actors have worked directly with students. Rocking Horse have also helped deliver workshops on continuity, acting and directing as part of our Careers Week.

Rocking Horse founder Gareth Thomas is an Industry Champion for Performing Arts. He has as also judged talent shows, provided students with professional acting headshots, and videoed and photographed events such as the annual Christmas show.

Winners will be announced in an online ceremony on 25 May. Trophies will be presented at Natspec’s National Conference on 13 June.

We feel honoured to be shortlisted among so much innovative student-centred work going on across all the Natspec Colleges. We everything crossed head of the ceremony. Good luck, everyone!


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