Suffolk colleges take part in Love Our Colleges campaign to celebrate their work in the community
Colleges across Suffolk have highlighted their work – including support during the coronavirus pandemic – as part of a national campaign.
October’s Love Our Colleges campaign aims to shine a light on successes at further education establishments nationwide and celebrate their work in the community.
A host of colleges across Suffolk have taken part in this year’s campaign, despite the setbacks coronavirus has brought in 2020.
This year, the campaign has set out to recognise efforts made by colleges and sixth forms which have helped play their part in the Covid-19 pandemic response.
One Sixth Form College based in Ipswich rewarded staff and students for their efforts in a community competition, with student Jake Lay Flurrie in particular being hailed for his work to set up a mask supply to NHS staff and key workers.
Suffolk New College in Ipswich donated PPE to those in need in the community, while a host of staff became NHS volunteers. It recently held a student award ceremony in recognition of their work.
Marketing manager Craig Shimmon said: “While the majority of our students tend to be 16-to-18, we always support people of all ages as they look to gain new skills as part of a career change.
“Ultimately it doesn’t matter who you are, if you come to us and need support and advice we are here to help you become the best you can be.”
Colin Shaw from West Suffolk College said institutions in Suffolk had a key role beyond teaching students. He said: “The value of further education colleges to the community they serve is undeniable.
“Love Our Colleges provides us with the time to reflect on and celebrate all the brilliant things that colleges do.
“For me, it is about shouting about the fabulous work our staff do, day-in day-out, to benefit our individual students, businesses we work so closely with and our local and regional economy.”
Most colleges in the county have a tie-up with local firms on key courses to help students gain industry experience and firms find their future talent.
Sarah Smith, 16, from Sudbourne who is studying health and social care at Suffolk New College on the Coast, said: “I love my college because I am getting lots of advice about different careers, it’s near to home and I’m getting the skills I need to get the career that I want.”
Other establishments in Suffolk such as Abbeygate Sixth Form in Bury St Edmunds and Suffolk Rural, formerly known as Otley College, have also marked the occasion, which was launched by the Association of Colleges in 2016 as a means of celebrating those in the industry.