Accrington and Rossendale College celebrates star students and 100% Advanced Vocational pass rate on Results Day 2021

Students from Accrington and Rossendale College are celebrating an outstanding 100% Advanced Vocational pass rate this Results Day 2021.

Many are now ready to progress onto some exciting and career-focused destinations, including university, Apprenticeships and employment opportunities.

Centre Principal for Accrington and Rossendale College Morag Davis said: “I would like to congratulate the Class of 2021 at Accrington and Rossendale College on their achievements at the end of a challenging academic year.

“We are seeing students progress onto a wide range of positive destinations, including university, Apprenticeships and employment, and we wish them every success in the future.”

Level 3 Sports Student Becky Holden from Haslingden High, 18, is progressing onto Liverpool John Moores University to study Sport Psychology as she pursues a career as a Sports Psychologist.

She said: “I enjoyed my time at College as the tutors are so supportive and are always there to help if you need it, no matter what it is.

“College was definitely more independent which was perfect for me as it allowed me to work more efficiently and the standard of my work was also significantly better.

“I would recommend Accrington and Rossendale College as it provides students with a wide range of great opportunities. The support you get from the tutors is amazing and they always push you to achieve you best.”

Students looking to study at Accrington and Rossendale College this September can visit the College on its enrolment days – Thursday 12th August, 10am-7pm, and Friday 13th August, 10am-4pm.

Nelson and Colne College celebrates extraordinary results following an extraordinary year

Results Day may fall on a different day in 2021, but there is no change in the outstanding results and positive destinations of students who have achieved extraordinary grades at Nelson and Colne College.

The College – one of the leading colleges nationally across a range of academic measures – has recorded an A Level pass rate of 100% in 2021.

This means the College will gain an ALPs 1 score which measures progress made, the best possible outcome, and this will place it among the very highest schools and colleges in the country. Nelson and Colne College already has the status of being the number one FE College in the country for A Level progress.

The College has also recorded a fantastic 100%* Advanced Vocational pass rate.

At A Level, the overall pass rates show 35.3% achieving A*-A grades,  66.6% high A*-B grades, and 85.6% A*-C. Broken down further, this shows:

Percentage of students who received at least one A*-C = 97%
Percentage of students who received at least one A*-B = 86.5%
Percentage of students who received at least one A*-A = 55.5%

Once again, the College is seeing students progress to some of the top universities in the country, including Imperial College London, the University of Manchester, the University of Leeds, the University of Liverpool and the University of Edinburgh, while other students have successfully gained Apprenticeships and employment.

Principal of Nelson and Colne College Group Amanda Melton said: “I am absolutely delighted for our students. They have worked so hard in such challenging circumstances and it is great to see them achieve the results they deserve.

I would also like to thank our phenomenal tutors who have worked tirelessly, in an unprecedented year, to support our students to achieve their very best.

This hard work and dedication of both staff and students has paid off as we celebrate yet another year of exceptional results.”

Fionnuala Swann, Assistant Principal for Academic Studies at the College said: ‘We couldn’t be prouder of our students’ achievements. They have worked so hard, and it is wonderful to see them secure their dream places at university and other exciting destinations. We wish them all the best for their next steps – congratulations to the Class of 2021!”

Grace McWilliam, formerly of Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School, achieved A, A*, A* in her A Levels in Government and Politics, Philosophy Ethics and Religion, and Sociology. Grace will now progress onto the University of York to study Social and Political Sciences.

Grace, 18, said: “I have genuinely loved completing my A Levels at Nelson and Colne College and I cannot credit the Social Sciences department enough for instilling a lifelong love of philosophy, sociology and politics within me. Their endless encouragement and support has contributed to my ever-growing reading list.

“Classes are enjoyable, staff are extremely encouraging within classroom discussion, and assignments are relevant and returned promptly with detailed feedback.

“My teachers have shown genuine passion for the content which is infectious as a student and I think the department is unmatched in its subject material, revision resources and teaching staff.”

Jiya Mahmood, 19, formerly of Ss John Fisher and Thomas More RC High School achieved Triple Distinction* in her Level 3 Extended diploma in Science. Jiya is now progressing to Keele University to study Forensic Science and Human Biology.

Jiya said: “Studying at an accepting College that supports you in every aspect of your journey has really brought out the best in me. I have made new friends, it has helped secure amazing grades, and it has enabled me to pursue my passion for Forensic Science.

“Nelson and Colne College provides students with many opportunities – I have done the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and the Police Cadets, I’ve volunteered with the police and completed relevant work experience to my course. I also supported the Science department on open evenings, and would highly recommend studying here to others.”

Nelson and Colne College is one of the leading colleges nationally across a range of academic measures – 16-18 classroom learner achievement, 16-18 Advanced Apprenticeship timely achievement, A Level progress and GCSE Mathematics and English progress.

Nelson and Colne College is also the number one college in the country for student satisfaction.

Students looking to study at Nelson and Colne College this September can visit the College on its enrolment days – Thursday 12th August, 10am-7pm, and Friday 13th August, 10am-4pm.

Partnership with Burnley FC in the Community expands to Higher Education

The strength of Nelson and Colne College Group’s partnership with Burnley FC in the Community has been taken to another level through a new university level qualification.

A new Level 4 CertHE course in Sport Coaching and Performance is being offered to adult students in East Lancashire and beyond from September 2021 who are seeking to break into the industry.

Offered in partnership between the College Group’s University Centre and Burnley FC in the Community, the qualification is awarded by Liverpool John Moores University – a top 10 university in the country for Sports Science courses.

The qualification can be achieved as a standalone Level 4 qualification, enabling a first step into the field of Sport Coaching and Performance, but can equally lead on to the full BSc (Hons) Sport Coaching and Performance degree offered by the University Centre.

Successful partnership

Already renowned for delivery of the hugely successful Burnley FC Shadow Youth Team and Girls’ Post-16 Academy for 16-18-year-old students, as well as delivery of courses to support adults through Lancashire Adult Learning, this is the first time a university level qualification has been delivered through the College Group’s partnership with Burnley FC in the Community.

Benefits to learners include completion of the FA Level 1 Coaching Award, participation in the National Football Youth League Under-19s and 23s Football Youth League, football training session three times a week, including strength and conditioning sessions, and match analysis.

Burnley Football Club training kit and match day kit will be provided and wide-ranging active work experience with Burnley FC in the Community will be offered as part of the qualification.

This could include shadowing coaches delivering on numerous projects and community activities including disability sport, walking football, health provision, the community kitchen, school provision, and more.

Exciting development

Charlotte Scheffmann, Dean of Higher Education at Nelson and Colne College Group University Centre said: “Our new Level 4 qualification in Sport Coaching and Performance is an incredibly exciting development in our partnership with Burnley FC in the Community.

“Our partnership is already renowned for its outstanding quality and results, and a development into the world of Higher Education was a natural step for its expansion.

“The qualification we are offering is a fantastic blend of academic study with real-world experience, and this will support the progression of people into careers in a strong sector that contributes almost £24bn to the UK economy and supports almost one million jobs.”

New qualification

Dr. Sara Ward, Chief Executive Officer of Burnley FC in the Community said: “We are delighted to strengthen our partnership with the Nelson and Colne College Group by offering the new Level 4 qualification in Sport Coaching and Performance.

“The partnership is integral to our Education and Football Development offering, with the flagship Shadow Youth Team and Girls’ Post-16 Academy, engaging over 100 young people every year. Feedback from students and staff alike, has been positive and there is a real appetite for further learning.

“Through the exciting development of a university level qualification, I look forward to being able to offer more young people the opportunity to study in this area, ensuring they are equipped with the valuable skills to go on and succeed in the sport industry.”

Advice events

Adults looking to study HE flexibly, affordably and locally will have the chance to speak in-person to the University Centre’s expert teaching teams during Adult and HE Advice Events.

The first of these will take place at Accrington and Rossendale College on Wednesday 30 June, from 4pm until 7.30pm. The second, will take place on Monday 5 July at Nelson and Colne College, from 4pm until 7.30pm. These are appointment only events and can be booked on the website: universitycentre.nelsongroup.ac.uk/event/higher-education-advice-events/

The full range of new courses offered by Nelson and Colne College Group University Centre can be explored through a new University Centre website at universitycentre.nelsongroup.ac.uk/.

The site includes a new selection of downloadable sector guides, as well as student success stories and personal profiles of the University Centre’s industry expert tutors, and information about studying Higher Education with the University Centre.

To find out more about the new University Centre offer, you can contact the Higher Education team at the University Centre by emailing he@nelsongroup.ac.uk or by calling 01254 354047.

New HE partnership with Liverpool John Moores University

East Lancashire’s Higher Education offer has been significantly boosted with the launch of a new partnership between Nelson and Colne College Group University Centre and Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU).

A first-of-its-kind partnership, it marries up the outstanding reputations that the respective institutions have for educational quality in the spheres of Further Education and Higher Education.

Employers in East Lancashire can benefit from the partnership as its terms mean that the University Centre has greater freedom to respond to market trends and economic changes by delivering new courses validated by LJMU as the degree awarding university. 

This means that employers seeking to support their staff to upskill can do so with the University Centre with confidence as the course content is aligned to local skills needs.

Flexible delivery by the University Centre also means that adult students have a range of study options and can achieve the equivalent of a degree level qualification in a month of study days across an academic year, reducing time out of the workplace.

Students studying HE with the University Centre will also benefit from the partnership by being able to access a wide range of LJMU resources to support their studies.

The partnership has been announced as the University Centre launches a new offer of high quality university level provision on the doorstep of East Lancashire – qualifications that are relevant to current and future economic needs of the region, and include a theme of sustainability running through the spine of the offer.

Delivery of these will take place at either the Nelson and Colne College University Centre or the Accrington and Rossendale College University Centre. Courses offered with the approval of LJMU from September 2021 cover Business, Law and Finance; Computing; Construction; Engineering; Health and Social Sciences; and Sport.

Charlotte Scheffmann, Dean of Higher Education at Nelson and Colne College Group University Centre said: “The new partnership is one that is built on mutual trust and reputational respect, providing a Higher Education offer which is designed to support employers in East Lancashire.

“Not only does Liverpool John Moores University have the confidence in us to deliver high quality and impactful Higher Education in their name, LJMU also have the faith in our experienced HE team to grant us the potential to quickly provide qualifications in response to trends and changes in our economy locally and regionally.

“That assurance is transformational and means that we can support employers by addressing skills gaps and creating opportunities where there is demand for jobs.”

Peter Byers, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of LJMU, welcomes the partnership. He said: “Our mission is to transform lives through education and create opportunities for communities.

“This partnership between Liverpool John Moores University and the Nelson and Colne College Group means we can, together, create quality and impactful learning which will connect students directly to job opportunities in their area. All of which is backed by LJMU’s research expertise.”

Adults looking to study HE flexibly, affordably and locally will have the chance to speak in-person to the University Centre’s expert teaching teams during Adult and HE Advice Events.

The first of these will take place at Accrington and Rossendale College on Wednesday 30 June, from 4.30pm until 7.30pm. The second, will take place on Monday 5 July at Nelson and Colne College, from 4.30pm until 7.30pm. These are appointment only events and can be booked on the website: universitycentre.nelsongroup.ac.uk/event/higher-education-advice-events/

The full range of new courses offered by Nelson and Colne College Group University Centre can be explored through a new University Centre website at universitycentre.nelsongroup.ac.uk/.

The site includes a new selection of downloadable sector guides, as well as student success stories and personal profiles of the University Centre’s industry expert tutors, and information about studying Higher Education with the University Centre.

To find out more about the new University Centre offer, you can contact the Higher Education team at the University Centre by emailing he@nelsongroup.ac.uk or by calling 01254 354047.

College Apprentices thriving in Painting and Decorating positions with Bell Group

Two female Painting and Decorating Apprentices from Nelson and Colne College Group are thriving in their roles after securing Apprenticeships with the country’s largest commercial decorators.

Faye Chester and Kelsey Whewell, both 18, are working for Bell Group and gained their respective Apprenticeship positions after each enjoying a successful two-week work placement with the company in the autumn.

The duo have been out on the road with their Bell Group colleagues this winter putting their skills into practice working on a range of jobs in all weathers.

Faye and Kelsey were also happy to take time out of their busy working schedules to support Nelson and Colne College Group’s National Apprenticeship Week 2021 celebrations, and would recommend Apprenticeships to other would-be future tradespeople.

This year’s theme for National Apprenticeship Week is ‘Build the Future’, with a focus on how employers across the country train, retain and achieve with Apprenticeships.

Faye, formerly of Shuttleworth College, said: “Art was my best subject at school. I loved painting and being creative, it is something I was naturally good at, so that is why I went down the route of Painting and Decorating.

“The Apprenticeship has been really good – I like the responsibility of being an employee and working in a team. My confidence and communication has also improved through it, and I would recommend the Apprenticeship route to others who are looking to go into a trade in the future.”

Kelsey, formerly of Accrington Academy, said: “I chose Painting and Decorating because I like doing it, and when I first visited College, I found the department really good and the environment was friendly.

“It’s a great feeling to have secured an Apprenticeship with a good company and I have enjoyed working on the exteriors of houses. With an Apprenticeship, you’re earning and learning at the same time, so I would recommend them as a way of developing your skills and your future career.”

Julie Lawrenson, National Training Manager for Bell Group, said: “We’ve been really impressed with the progression of Faye and Kelsey. Working outside throughout the winter, and of course in the middle of a pandemic, they really have got stuck in, have fitted well into the team at Bell Group, and have shown excellent application on the jobs they have been assigned.

“We’ve developed a very good working relationship with the College Group’s Construction team too, who provide great support to Faye and Kelsey’s knowledge and skills development on their College days once a week.

“It’s fantastic to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week together – as retaining Apprentices within Bell Group is important for our business. We have many examples of Apprentices that have progressed into middle and senior management roles within the company, and we have that aspiration for Faye and Kelsey too when they come to the end of their Apprenticeships.”

Alison Rushton, Vice Principal of Nelson and Colne College Group, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Bell Group, who offer a range of high-quality Apprenticeship opportunities that our students can benefit from.

“Here at Nelson and Colne College Group, we believe that Apprentices are going to play a vital role in the economic recovery, and our focus on the power of three – a successful synergy between Apprentice, employer and the College – ensures that we are best placed to support businesses and organisations to meet their goals.

“It is fantastic to see Faye and Kelsey are doing exactly that and are thriving in their new roles with Bell Group – something worth celebrating this National Apprenticeship Week.”

Following the extension of the employer incentive by the Government, employers who take on a new Apprentice before 31 March 2021 could receive up to £3,000 in total.

The benefits of Apprenticeships include earning a salary, training in the skills employers want, and excellent progression opportunities. There is also increased future earning potential, learning is done at a pace suited to the Apprentice, and Apprentices have the support of a mentor.

Nelson and Colne College Group offers Apprenticeships across a wide range of sectors and is number one in Lancashire for 16-18 Advanced Apprenticeship timely achievement, according to the latest Government data.

It is also number one in the county for employer satisfaction, based on the latest FE Choices Employer Survey.

For more information about Apprenticeships with Nelson and Colne College Group, please contact the Apprenticeship Team today at: apprenticeships@nelsongroup.ac.uk

Nelson and Colne College Group showcases range of career options in National Apprenticeship Week 2021

Nelson and Colne College Group has celebrated National Apprenticeship Week 2021 with an online showcase of employer partners, career pathways and success stories.

This year’s theme for National Apprenticeship Week was ‘Build the Future’, with a focus on how employers across the country train, retain and achieve with Apprenticeships.

The celebrations by the College Group centred on a social media takeover including the launch of a new Apprenticeship newsletter to keep applicants up-to-date, and a revamp of the Apprenticeship Guide for would-be Apprentices to map out their futures.

Employer and Apprentice case study videos were also shared, there were ‘day in the life’ diary entries by Apprentices, and #AskAnEmployer and #AskAnApprentice live Q&A sessions on Twitter.

There was also the chance to take a trip back down memory lane to look at ‘Back to the Floor’ employer visits from previous years – a staple of the College Group’s National Apprenticeship Week celebrations over many years – but that could not take place this year due to the current coronavirus restrictions.

Nelson and Colne College Group works with a wide range of employers large and small across the North West region, and currently offers 45 Apprenticeship standards and 55 frameworks. Its brand approach is focused on the power of three – a successful synergy between Apprentice, employer and the College.

Employer feedback shows that nationally 74% of businesses say Apprentices improved their service or quality, and 78% improved productivity. Additionally, statistics show that Apprenticeships pay for themselves multiple times over, with every £1 of Government investment into Apprenticeships returning between £26 and £28 to the economy.

Sufyan Khan, 20, is completing a Business Administration Apprenticeship with IMO Charity in Blackburn. He said: “I’m really enjoying my Apprenticeship. I’ve had great support from my Trainer Assessor and I’m developing a range of skills – personal and professional.

“I’m much more independent when at work, and in general life, and my leadership and communication skills have improved working in a team. My presentation and planning skills are also better, and I’m much more forward thinking.”

Harriet Still, 22, is completing a Teaching Assistant Apprenticeship at Sir Tom Finney Community High School in Preston. She said: “Thanks to my Apprenticeship I have gained so much personal confidence and feel that I have found my vocation working in Special Needs Education.

“In terms of skills related to my role, I have taken part in a range of different training courses to widen my knowledge and expertise, including lifting and handling, how to administer medication and feeding techniques. My communication skills have also improved, and my goal is to continue learning and eventually become a teacher.”

Ryan Parker, 18, who is completing an IT Apprenticeship at Seriun in Barrowford, said: “My Apprenticeship is developing the skills I need for the Digital sector and a career in IT.

“I’m problem solving by fixing issues that come in through our ticket system, and this also involves taking up more of a customer facing role speaking to clients up and down the country to resolve the situation. My confidence and communication skills have definitely improved as a result of this.

“I’ve also had experience of hardware rebuilding and this has furthered my knowledge in this area – your technical knowledge comes with experience.”

Principal and CEO of Nelson and Colne College Group Amanda Melton CBE said: “The positive impact that Apprentices have on the economy and the businesses that they work for is there for all to see. I am in no doubt that Apprenticeships are going to be imperative to the country’s fortunes as we rebuild post-pandemic.

“National Apprenticeship Week is always a great opportunity to celebrate the achievements of Apprentices, and especially so this year, with many who have been able to continue working showing resilience, adaptability and commitment during the pandemic in whatever business or sector they are in.

“Finding your feet in the working world, learning your trade, developing new skills and trying to complete the qualification aspect to your Apprenticeship must have been incredibly demanding for Apprentices in the last 12 months, so it is only right we recognise these significant challenges alongside the many achievements.”

Following the extension of the employer incentive by the Government, employers who take on a new Apprentice before 31 March 2021 could receive up to £3,000 in total.

Nelson and Colne College Group offers Apprenticeships across a wide range of sectors and is number one in Lancashire for 16-18 Advanced Apprenticeship timely achievement, according to the latest Government data.

It is also number one in the county for employer satisfaction, based on the latest FE Choices Employer Survey.

For more information about Apprenticeships with Nelson and Colne College Group, please contact the Apprenticeship Team today at: apprenticeships@nelsongroup.ac.uk

FE White Paper: Why we need to trust, and be trusted

After the Skills for Jobs White Paper was published by the Government, Principal and Chief Executive of Nelson and Colne College Group, Amanda Melton CBE, has written a column offering her thoughts on what it means for colleges and the Further Education sector.

The Skills for Jobs White Paper was a significant event for FE colleges, marking the first long-term ambitious and wide-reaching policy framework to guide FE and skills for many years. It clearly addresses the importance of systemic employer involvement and local and regional economic difference, and invites a more mature conversation between all stakeholders sharing a vision for positive change.

I feel optimistic that it provides a trajectory affirming the role and purpose of FE colleges for people, businesses and communities everywhere. For the first time in many years, skills and colleges are acknowledged and promoted as playing a central role in the much needed “levelling up” agenda. It shows me that FE colleges are recognised in Whitehall for what they currently achieve, and, more significantly, for the untapped potential they provide.

Any significant policy development generates opportunities and challenges, and this will be no different. The nuts and bolts of delivery remain important to work through, and there is consultation on the way for several key elements, but I acknowledge that the existing systems need work, and feel encouraged that the changes ahead will build on strengths and share the very best practices.

As an FE college leader, I see this as an opportunity to lead the change, as an equal partner with government and business. I have heard colleagues speak eloquently on this topic through the detailed work of the Independent Commission on the College of the Future, and I’m so pleased to see much alignment to that report with this publication.  

FE White Paper: Delivering the College of the Future vision

For me, an important test is assessing the potential of this White Paper to deliver the vision of the college of the future. Does it deliver lifelong learning? Will it deliver a more coherent, well-invested education and skills system? Will it deliver freedom to co-design programmes with businesses to increase productivity and create sustainable jobs? Will it anchor colleges in towns everywhere, developing healthy, connected and cohesive communities? 

Adult learning is, for me, the greatest priority. Working lives are getting longer, and job roles and skills are changing, and we all need to continually develop our skills with universal access to the very best information and training. It can’t just be that your success in late school and the following few years guide your path, leaving it to serendipity to determine what happens next. A Lifelong Loan Entitlement will create a statutory right to lifelong learning, supporting those furthest from education and training, as well as the many adults making a career change throughout life.

To support productivity, the commission’s call for the introduction of employer hubs is reflected in the new measure to develop college business centres that will drive innovation through direct alignment of training to skills need. The proposed local skills plans – if done well through genuine collaboration – will be a vehicle for boosting all that is already good in employer/college partnerships.

The emphasis on place-making through the local skills improvement plans exploits the underplayed potential of the network of colleges in every part of the nation. My sincere hope is that this will drive greater collaboration rather than competition, as leaders collectively consider the skills needs of individuals and employers in each part of the country over institutional market share. The signpost to longer-term funding aligned to the outcomes for people and businesses in an area will hopefully give colleges greater confidence to collaborate rather than compete, with less focus on institutional survival and more on purpose. 

As we “build back better” there are pointers to greater capital investment throughout the White Paper. That investment is much needed and should support the remedial work required after many years of neglect. But it should also avoid unnecessary duplication. Every FE college should offer an appealing experience to students that inspires technical and vocational learning, as well as the essential learning building blocks to improve the prospects of young people and adults. That means excellent resources, buildings and highly skilled, well-paid staff everywhere. But we should be clear about the uniqueness of colleges in terms of the expertise at higher levels, and the facilities and staff that underpin a world-class experience.

A college sector that is trusted – and trusts

The measures announced build on previous commitments and put meat on the bones of what it means for colleges to support with levelling up. Policy change is required, but so too is a culture shift. We have a long way to go to become an education and skills sector that is trusted and trusts. A closer proactive relationship with local and national partners will help us contribute to future changes, drawing upon the rich experiences we have of transforming skills for people and businesses. 

There is work to do over the coming months and years, but this is a significant first step for skills and colleges. I look forward to this conversation across the sector and in government shaping the college of the future. If we get this right, it will transform the capability and capacity of English colleges to deliver for the nation.   

Thousands of food items donated to foodbanks this festive season by Nelson and Colne College Group

Nelson and Colne College Group has distributed almost 3,000 items of food to nine Lancashire foodbanks in the run up to Christmas.

Proving it truly is the season of goodwill, those who are need of foodbank support in Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle, Rossendale and Leyland will benefit from the donations that have been made by the College Group – which incorporates Nelson and Colne College, Accrington and Rossendale College and Lancashire Adult Learning.

Nelson and Colne College Group has been one of a number of colleges taking part in the national FE Foodbank Friday initiative since lockdown began in March.

Initially, £1,500 was raised and donated to three local foodbanks in the Spring, and that developed into donations of store cupboard items as well as treats in the lead up to Christmas.

The foodbanks receiving donations this festive season are:

  • Haslingden Community Link
  • Maundy Relief – Accrington
  • Salvation Army – Nelson Citadel
  • Colne Open Door
  • Inspiring Grace – Nelson
  • Colne Citadel
  • St Matthew the Apostle with Holy Trinity Church – Burnley
  • The Base Community Centre – Leyland
  • Burnley FC in the Community

In addition, the Maundy Relief foodbank in Accrington recently put out an urgent call for unwanted coats and jackets for the winter period, and this week 20 bin bags of coats were donated by the College Group.

Rachel Cox, Careers and Personal Development Manager at Nelson and Colne College Group said: “Through the collective efforts of staff and students we have managed to donate a phenomenal amount of food this festive season.

“It was truly heart-warming to see such an array of different goods and the bags piling up each day – and I’m delighted these have now been delivered to those who require a little bit of support this Christmas.

“We are hoping to continue with our foodbank collections in the New Year to continue supporting those in need in our local communities.”

College Group teams up with Community Solutions to deliver festive cheer

Nelson and Colne College Group has teamed up with Community Solutions North West to deliver some festive cheer to East Lancashire residents.

During the season of goodwill, Community Solutions is aiming to deliver wellbeing boxes of essentials to over 500 local residents who are lonely, socially isolated or in crisis as a way to try and lift spirits.

Included within the boxes are natural wood tree decorations designed and manufactured by the College Group’s Engineering department, engraved with ‘Merry Christmas from Community Solutions’.

Also within the boxes are essential items like tea, coffee, food supplies and toiletries alongside festive treats including chocolate, positivity jars, Christmas jars, and hand-written cards.

Michael Molloy, Engineering Technician at Nelson and Colne College Group, said: “We’re always keen whenever the call comes to support community projects – and this was no exception, particularly after the year we have had and the loneliness and isolation that circumstances have caused.

“We’re really pleased with the finish of the decorations, and we hope they are well-received by residents in East Lancashire, and provide a bit of comfort this festive season.”

Leanne Taylor, Enterprise Development Manager at Community Solutions, said: “We’re really thankful to everyone in the community who has supported us in making the wellbeing boxes a possibility.

“The donation of 500 personalised decorations from Nelson and Colne College Group is a great addition to the boxes, and will be something that participants can hang on their tree year after year to remind them that they are not alone. The gesture shows a real commitment to the community of Accrington and beyond.”

Free and flexible online courses launched to support adults and help them ‘take control’ this New Year…

Adult learners in Lancashire are being encouraged to ‘take control’ and make a positive start to 2021 by boosting their health and wellbeing, retraining, improving their digital skills and/or supporting their families.

The new courses, which start in January, are largely free, flexible and available online, and are delivered by Nelson and Colne College Group – made up of Lancashire Adult Learning, Nelson and Colne College and Accrington and Rossendale College.

Free courses offered by Lancashire Adult Learning range from Maths and English programmes to digital skills for everyday life, employability courses to support learners back into work, health and wellbeing programmes to de-stress, and courses to support children with their education.

There are also free Lancashire Adult Learning courses for leisure, including humanities, arts and crafts, and, as an exclusive offer during this time, for online languages courses too.

Other provision included in the Spring offer focuses on skills for industry, supporting career development or finding employment within specific sectors. These courses are largely free, or have fee remissions or loans available.

Those looking to develop their professional skills have opportunities in Construction, Health and Social Care, Education and Childcare, and Hair and Beauty. There are also a range of qualifications available through the Nelson and Colne College Group University Centre.

Assistant Principal for Adult Learning, Andrew Parkin, said: “We really have thought long and hard about our latest course offer, and we have carefully put together a package that we feel best supports the needs of adult learners right now across Lancashire.

“Reflective of the times we are in, we have made even more of our courses free of charge – including our renowned languages offer – and our courses are as accessible as they have ever been, with live online classrooms or flexible online learning to fit around the commitments of learners.

“Whatever your motivation for learning, the new year is a fresh start for everyone, and I’m thrilled that we have a comprehensive range of courses to support adult learners in the Red Rose County.”

Ayesha Shahid, 41, from Burnley, lost her business as a result of the pandemic, and took advantage of Lancashire Adult Learning’s Health and Social Care ‘Hub from Home’ programme over the summer months to rapidly retrain.

Ayesha, who has gained employment in the care sector off the back of completing her qualifications, said: “I’m very happy with my decision and I had brilliant support from the teaching team at LAL. It’s a personal challenge for me, and I love a challenge.

“I really think working in care that I can add value and make a significant difference to lives. I’m also looking at doing a degree in social work which I am looking forward to. I’m totally committed to my new career in care.”

Debbra Walley, 36, from Chorley, gained a job in the care sector after completing employability sessions with LAL.

She said: “I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the Lancashire Adult Learning employability team for supporting me into paid employment and towards a more positive future for my family.

“Working in childcare has always been my objective, I just needed the right tools and support to get me there. To now have a job in that line of work is fantastic. It has also opened up more job prospects for me. I’ve always wanted to better myself and I have an ambition to become a Teaching Assistant.”

Nathan Andrews, 31, from Leyland, took control of his career by completing his Barbering qualifications at an evening course with Nelson and Colne College. Previously a window fitter, he decided he wanted a new challenge and is now employed at a leading Barbering shop with a strong reputation for quality.

Nathan said: “It has given me the career I want to do, and I find I have more free time outside of work now, so I have a better work life balance too. Working in the industry, I’m learning all the time and picking up new skills. I take pride in my work and I have an ambition to be the best around.”

Further information about all of the new range of courses for adults can be found on Lancashire Adult Learning’s website at www.lal.ac.uk.

Enrolment can also be completed on the website, or by calling 0333 003 1717.

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