January – March 2018

UCC student receives national recognition

Congratulations to Hadeel Lutfi, FdA Health and Social Care at University Centre Colchester, for winning not one but two awards for her dedication and compassion as a Barnardo’s volunteer! After winning a regional award, Hadeel then went on to win at the national level and was named Marsh Christian Trust Volunteer of the Year Award for Work with Children (2017).

This is a significant achievement as the Marsh Christian Trust Award is run in partnership with Barnardo’s to recognise volunteers dedicated to helping children, young people and families across the UK, who demonstrate an exceptional level of support and commitment to their role and the clients they support.

Hadeel’s nomination accurately described her as ‘an incredible inspirational lady full of infectious enthusiasm who does not recognise the impact she has on others and on society’. In addition to her volunteer work at Barnardo’s Beehive Children’s Centre, Hadeel fulfils an enormously important role as an FGM champion for Barnardo’s. Originally from the Sudan, Hadeel uses her cultural knowledge and language skills to build relationships with specific communities and promote discussion around FGM.

We are extremely pleased that Hadeel’s incredible passion and dedication to her role as a volunteer have been recognised.

Learners recognised for their hard work on their apprenticeship

Colchester Institute is pleased to be working with Colchester Hospital University Foundation Trust (CHUFT) in delivering the Healthcare Apprenticeships at Level 3. The first cohort of 4 apprentices started in January 2017 and will this month complete their apprenticeship – 3 months ahead of schedule. The 4 apprentices Cameron, Leesesha, Paige and Angel-Rose have all excelled showing outstanding commitment to the apprenticeship in both the workplace and at the college as part of their day release and will achieve both vocational qualifications and functional skills.

In addition, we have a further 3 apprentices at CHUFT who are continuing to show similar commitment, passion and exceptional development within the apprenticeship. All apprentices are demonstrating excellent patient care skills, with one apprentice learning new skills in phlebotomy and now working in an extended role as a result of her apprenticeship.

Finally, one apprentice who achieved her level 3 apprenticeship with Colchester Institute while working at CHUFT, has now progressed as a student nurse and will one day become a valued staff nurse having started her journey as an apprentice.

Amy Ripton, Health and Clinical Care Assessor, said all these apprentices work above and beyond in both the academic studies and the development of their vocational skills and are excellent examples of some of the great work achieved by Colchester Institute students.

Two generations of apprentices at Colchester Institute

Lifetime Financial Solutions, are Independent Financial Advisers, offering unbiased financial and mortgage advice. The company was started by a former Apprentice of Colchester Institute. He has since put his own son through the Apprenticeship scheme and since then the company has started another five Apprentices with the college. One has completed the Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice (CeMAP) and the other four are working towards their Certificate in Para planning and Financial Administration (CePFA).

Former student features in new Butterkist commercial

Kris Laudrum, a former FE Performing Arts student of Colchester Institute in 2010, features in the new Butterkist commercial. Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlzbnPLwi7A

New portable TV Studio at our Braintree Campus

This new facility is a really exciting development and provides the opportunity for our Braintree students to experience and learn about how TV programmes are created and put together. All of this equipment was used by a student crew, on Saturday, 31st March, during a live gig at Colchester Art Centre in aid of MS UK.

Click here to see a behind the scenes look at the students using the equipment at The Minories.

Autoglass and Colchester Institute

The Motor Vehicle Department have started working with a new company, Autoglass Body Repair, last year. Autoglass has expanded from their normal windscreen repairs and have branched out into the mobile body repair and paint sector. Head of Department, Kevin Doo arranged for Autoglass to visit Colchester Institute last year to give our Level 3 refinishing students a demonstration with their new state of the art van and pop up spray booth. One of our full time Level 3 students, Ben, was then lucky enough to get an interview with the company where he was successfully secured a position as a trainee.

A few months ago Ben gave us a call as he was repairing and painting a car in the car park just opposite Colchester institute and he wanted us to go and see him in action. Ben described his new job as ‘brilliant’ and said that he loved getting up in the morning to go to work which was a feeling that he thought he would never have.

We will continue to work with Autoglass this year and they will be revisiting Colchester Institute shortly to talk to our current Level 3 students about becoming a trainee with them. We are hoping to have some more students ready to jump straight into full time employment after they have finished their vocational qualification with us in June.

Donation from Static Solutions

Static Solutions have generously donated a ‘Stat-Gun’ (worth approx. £2,000) to the Motor Vehicle at Colchester Institute. The Department is very grateful and the learners will make great use of this piece of equipment. Thank you so much Static Solutions!

Colchester Citizens Action

Members of Colchester Institute ESOL Department have recently been involved in Colchester Citizens, an organisation made up of a diverse range of civil society organisations across Colchester which are committed to working together for the common good. On Sunday, 11th February, members met at Colchester Leisure to raise awareness about the lack of female life-guards working during ‘women-only’ swimming sessions; an issue which is preventing many women in Colchester from accessing swimming and the many health benefits that it brings. During a fun-filled and light-hearted afternoon, there was singing, a swimming-related obstacle race, testimonies from women affected and a petition (and Valentine’s card) was presented to Colchester Borough Council.

Student’s track played on BBC Radio

In March, Ejiro Liscano, 1st Year Music Technology Level 3 student, had his track played on BBC Radio Essex as part of their Introducing programme which highlights new and upcoming artists. Performing under the artist moniker AJ Hero, it’s fantastic to see him featured amongst the latest local talent.

Colchester Half Marathon winner

Ramadan Osman, a student on our Engineering Intermediate Technical Qualification, won the Colchester Half Marathon on 25th March 2018. He was first at the finish line, after an impressive 1 hour and 9 minutes. Well done to Ramadan! Read the full Colchester Gazette article here.

Part-time lecturer coaching Team England Basketball at Commonwealth Games

Mark Lloyd, one of our part-time lecturers, took Team England’s Men’s Basketball Team to the quarter-finals of this year’s Commonwealth Games. A commendable achievement!

CHEFs students’ France visit

41 students and 4 staff from Hospitality left the college at 3.00am on 22 March 2018 and went to Reims to visit Pommery Champagne and then onto Paris. On day 2 the students visited Marché Popincourt, one of the top 5 farmers’ markets in Paris. They went on to visit Pierre Hermé, Landurée and Fauchon where the students had the opportunity to taste chocolates and Macaron. Plenty of time was given for a bit of sightseeing at the Louvre, Place de la Concorde and Champs-Élysées. On day 3 they visited the Eiffel Tower for the morning. On the way home they stopped at a local hypermarket for a bit of last minute shopping before catching the Eurotunnel home.

Rock Prom at the Arts Centre

Schools and colleges took part in the Schools Rock event at the Colchester Arts Centre recently. This was organised by former head of music at the Sixth Form College, Nigel Hildreth. The night opened with Thurstable’s perky soul group who got the event off to a great start. Philip Morant took three acts along which included rock rhythms of retro rockers ‘Sandcastle Jesus’. Other highlights included Stanway’s ‘Feedback’ who made another triumphant punk rock appearance. ‘South Hours’, comprised of Level 3 Music students from Colchester Institute, served up a set of soulful pop songs. While solo acoustic act, Harry Eageling, provided breath-taking vocals and melodic tunes.

Student trip to Brussels

Year 2 students on BA (Hons) Business Innovation and Applied Management had a trip to Brussels in February. They started work on a project with students from Odisee University as part of their International Business and Globalization module, and are looking forward to May when the Belgian students will make a return trip to Colchester.

Student visit to Design Museum

Sixty Foundation Art and Design students visited the Design Museum recently to support our new brief ‘Community and Togetherness’. The brief is based on a national competition set by the Design Museum that we will be putting some of our students work forward.

Part of our trip included viewing the current exhibition ‘Beazley Designs of the Year’, an exhibition of work that brings together over 60 global projects across six categories: Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Graphics, Product and Transport representing the breadth and variety of design work. Each project has been recognised for its outstanding contribution to design giving our students lots to think about and fuel their imagination for the new brief.

In addition to the exhibition each student took part in the ‘Unpacking the Design Process’ workshop led by the museum. The workshop provided an insight into a professional design process working across multidisciplinary platforms. Drawing on the Design Museum’s exhibitions and collections our students unpacked the process of design by understanding the brief, relevant research and analysis, problem solving, communication and evaluation.

The day was a great success and our students came away feeling inspired and full of ideas. We are enthusiastic to see the outcomes for this project which we will be exhibiting in Firstsite. We are keeping our fingers crossed that we may also have a national competition winner too!

Students visit David Lloyd Health Club

Recently, a group of our Management of Sport students visited David Lloyd Health Club in Colchester where the manager gave them an insight into how the business operates.

Colchester Institute students get industry experience running Holiday Inn Colchester

A group of 19 Hospitality and Catering students from Colchester Institute had work experience with a difference recently, as they took over the running of the Colchester Holiday Inn. The students spent four days running the hotel, putting their skills into practice in all areas of the business including general management, reception, housekeeping, room service and serving food and drink.

It formed part of the ‘National Hotel Takeover week’, which gets students looking to join the hospitality industry a chance to experience the job first-hand, while hotels can spot talent for the future.

Colchester Holiday Inn general manager, Gemma Evangelista, said: “It’s surpassed all my expectations – it’s just been brilliant. They get involved and do their introduction at college, but to have them involved in the actual day-to-day running of the hotel I think has excited them even more than they thought. Our own team has learnt from the experience – it’s not just the students that have learnt.”

Ms Evangelista said the students were treated like any other member of staff, and had to go through a standard interview process as any employee would before taking on the work.

Steve Frei, Lecturer in Hospitality at Colchester Institute, who monitored the students’ progress through the week, said: “The hotel takeover is great for the students as they are getting real experience from current industry professionals. All students will benefit and be exposed to the real working environment. It is up to them to communicate with staff and customers at the hotel, discuss any issues regarding shifts and to ask questions to get the most out of the experience. Juggling conflicting priorities will become part of life for these students as they develop skills to succeed in the exciting and ever-changing hospitality industry.”

The hotel said it plans to continue monitoring the progress of the students, who are the future of the industry, and plan on hosting another takeover next year.

Students enter first phase of World Skills Competition

On Friday, 9 March 2018 Level 2 Furniture students entered the first phase of what will hopefully result in two of them being entered into the World Skills Competition. The regional heats will be held across the country in May/June and Friday was about selecting from those wishing to take part. Three students to enter the regionals are Callum Smith, Charlie Teager-Neale and Will Bennett and we are waiting to hear where this will take place for our region. We wish the students lots of luck.

Building Heroes

It was a privilege to see our fifth and sixth Building Heroes cohorts graduate this term. Congratulations to all who graduated and thank you to Kent and Blaxill for attending and donating your kind gifts to the students. The picture is of the fifth cohort who graduated in February – armed forces services leavers gaining new construction skills for employment after service.

International students in Cambridge

On Saturday, 24th March a group of 30 students from the ESOL/EFL department, along with members of staff, enjoyed a day trip to the beautiful university city of Cambridge. Departing from Colchester at 09.00 am and calling in at the Braintree campus en route to pick up our fellow day-trippers, we arrived mid-morning in the bustling, vibrant centre of Cambridge. Our students, from 18 different countries from as far apart as Chile, Brazil, Sudan, Afghanistan, China and the Philippines, spent the day taking in the sights and sounds. Along with visitors from many other parts of the UK and overseas, they were able to admire the architecture of the colleges and beautiful gardens, visit the museums, market, shops and cafes, try punting on the river, and witness a number of student processions from colleges to the Senate House for graduation. We returned to Colchester via Braintree in the early evening, sharing memories of a very happy day.

Young Pastry Chef of the Year

Laura Aylott, an ex-student of Colchester Institute, is in the final of “Young Pastry Chef of the Year” being held at Milton Keynes College. Laura is Head Pastry Chef at the Thatcher’s Arms in Mount Bures. Patisserie Lecturer, Stephanie Conway, has been helping Laura to prepare for the competition. The competition is being judged by: Benoit Blin (from the programme Crème de la Crème and Executive pastry chef at Le Manoir aux quat’ Saisions) Claire Clark, Liam Grime, Mick Burke, Mark Poyton and Jerome Dreux. We wish Laura the best of luck!! Pictured is her signature Black Forest Gateaux.

Partner with Robot Coupe

Colchester Institute have secured a partnership with Robot Coupe (World leaders in trade food processors and blenders) and recently took delivery of new cutting edge Robot Cook Technology and micro/foam hand blenders as part of very generous sponsor arrangement. We also received 4 x Micro Blenders – fantastic to use in our kitchens.

In exchange for Robot Coupe’s generosity, we will of course promote Robot Coupe to local industry, host a marketing event in the Balkerne Restaurant and offer recipe innovation for their UK marketing arm.

Robot Coupe have also indicated that as they develop new models/equipment and the partnership strengthens they will update and offer new equipment to CH&FS at Colchester Institute. A great example of partnership working to the benefit of all.

Zest Quest Asia Final Cook-off

Student teams from Colchester Institute, North Hertfordshire College, Sheffield Hallam University, The Sheffield College, University of West London and Westminster Kingsway College took part in the Final Cook-off competition on 12 February 2018, held in Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen, the signature restaurant of gold sponsor, Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5.

Colchester Institute did really well and achieved 2nd place out of 6 on the cooking and 3rd place out of 6 on the question and answer session on Asia Food.

They also won The Koppertcress Award for ‘Best Use of Living Ingredient’. The winner overall was University of West London. Colchester Institute were the youngest team in the final and were the only students on a Level 2 learning aim. Great work by the students and staff.

Well done to students: George Matthews, Jake Johnson and Daniel Plummer. Along with staff: Stephanie Conway, Ian Perkins and Neil Bishop.

Pastry Chef to represent the country in a battle to be the best

Jamie Houghton, a former Colchester Institute student, works as a junior sous chef at the famous Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxford.

Jamie became the winner of the 2017 UK Pastry Open – a victory which means he can now join the UK team taking part in the 2019 Coupe de Monde de la Patisserie, the World Cup of pastry-making. He has just been made captain of that team and will be a part of the sugar category.

Jamie said: “We don’t know what we have to do specifically for the world cup but we know we have to produce a number of desserts and sculptures. To be on the team has been my goal since 2013 and the fact the head coach appointed me as team captain is the cherry on the cake. There’s a lot of responsibility that goes with it but it’s brilliant. This entire journey is a team effort.”

Jamie’s team will be competing against 22 countries in January.

Fashion and Textiles students at International Fair

Two Level 3 Year 1 Fashion and Textiles students were finalists in the School’s ICHF (International Craft and Hobby Fair) Event’s Fashion and Embroidery Fashion Design Competition 2018. We traveled to the NEC in Birmingham on Friday, 16th March where the students presented their garments in the fashion show.

Enrichment Day

Part-time and Apprentice Chefs recently had an enrichment day at The Marquis – a luxury hotel and restaurant located in south Suffolk.