Student Services and Learning Support

Student ServicesStudent Support – What we offerLearning SupportChaplaincyDeaf Access TeamStudent Counselling ServiceCareers AdviceEmotional and Welbeing Support

Colchester Institute has a wide range of support services. These are available to help you with the practicalities of life as a student, as well as planning for your future career.

Whether you are still at school, have been working for a number of years or are returning to your studies after a long break, going to college is exciting. However, it can also be confusing and may mean changes to your lifestyle. Colchester Institute’s Student Support Services are designed to help you make the most of your time here.

If you want to know, for example, whether you are eligible for a grant or a loan, our Student Services staff will help you. Staff are also able to help you with any personal problems, through confidential student support services. Specialists in careers and educational guidance are also available to assist you in your future career plans.

We are here to help you be successful, whatever your age or circumstances.

Where are Student services:

Colchester campus: Ground Floor B Block

Braintree campus: Student Hub

What time are Student Services open:


Monday – Thursday 8:30am – 5pm

Friday 8:30am -4:30pm

Contact Student Support Services on 01206 712078

We pride ourselves on the support provided to students with additional needs. We have a dedicated team on hand to support you throughout your time with us. If you have a learning difficulty and / or disability, we encourage you to come and see us as soon as you are thinking of applying for a course.

Learning Support: What we offer

We know that there might be times during your studies where you need someone to talk to, or you may have issues that you need some support with – our Student Welfare team is on hand to help.

There are staff who can support your literacy, numeracy and with study skills. The College Learning Support team can offer advice and information on:

  • Learning support practitioners
  • Support for dyslexia
  • Support for students with autistic spectrum disorders
  • Note takers for deaf learners
  • Assessments for exam concessions
  • Communication support workers
  • Specialist equipment
  • A hearing loop facility
  • Learning support tutors
Colchester Institute chaplaincy is here for students and staff, and is available to all, whatever their beliefs.

In addition to the pastoral support services that Student Services provide the Multi-faith Chaplaincy provides a pastoral presence, and helps with projects and classes encouraging spiritual development.

Beks Korniej the chaplain can be contacted at

Deaf Access Team

Colchester Institute is committed to supporting deaf students so they can access the full curriculum.

We have a team of professionals to ensure students achieve their full potential. The Deaf Access Team can support a range of deaf students to suit individual requirements.

You can arrange a meeting with the Learning Support Team and tell us what support you require and ask questions.

The support the Deaf Access Team can offer:
  • Communicators: Communicators transfer spoken English into BSL or SSE, whatever you prefer. They can voice over your signing if you require. Communicators sign lectures and peer input, and modify written English.
  • Notetakers: Notetakers take notes in lectures. The notes are yours to keep.

For details of how we can help, please telephone the Learning Support Office on Colchester (01206) 712073, or Braintree (01206) 712978, Clacton (01206) 712346 or text phone 08834 339739.

There are times in everyone’s life when things are difficult. It can sometimes help to talk to someone outside your family and friends who won’t judge you.

The Student Services Student Counselling Service is currently open to students studying at Colchester and Braintree sites. If you are studying at any of our other sites please contact 01206 712310.

University Centre Colchester at Colchester Institute also provides separate counselling service to members of the public, which provides access to counselling in Colchester and Clacton-on- Sea.

What can I get help with?

The counselling service can help with a wide range of personal issues.

You might be having difficulties with:

  • Anger
  • Anxiety and panic
  • Bullying
  • Coping with College life
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Health matters
  • Family problems
  • Lack of self-esteem
  • Loneliness
  • Loss or bereavement
  • Personal relationships
  • Self-harm
  • Sexuality
How do I make an appointment?

Colchester Contact: Natasha Clement Leech

Tel: (01206) 712310


Braintree Contact: Shelia Hicks    

Tel: (01206) 812683


Careers Advice

Careers Advice

Good careers advice can make a positive difference to a student’s aspirations and motivation whilst at college. It can be instrumental in increasing their self-confidence and enable them to discover opportunities they never would have considered.

Based at our Colchester Campus, Colchester Institute’s team of careers advisers provide information, advice and guidance to enable their students to make informed decisions about their future and help find the best job or career possible for them. Our advisors have a wealth of experience and hold at least Level 6 or higher guidance qualifications.

If you are still at school we recommend that you contact your school careers adviser for help about your future pathway.
Alternatively you can contact the National Careers Service helpline for information and advice about jobs, careers and training.
National Careers Service helpline
National Careers Service
Telephone: 0800 100 900

It can be confusing to plan your next step after leaving school as there are so many different options to choose from. To help you get started please explore our useful links.

Careers Advice and Guidance
Careers Programme
Useful Links
Ask a question
Careers Advice and Guidance

Located at our Colchester Campus, the Careers team are available Monday – Thursday 8.30am – 5pm and Fridays 8:30am – 4pm

Help and support is available for a wide range of areas including

  • Career choice
  • Course choice
  • Progression Routes
  • Apprenticeships
  • Choosing and applying for university
  • Preparation for employment

One to one impartial guidance interviews are available as well as a daily drop in service. There is a well-equipped careers centre within the College containing information on jobs and courses, careers software is available to help students choose and research suitable careers.

Colchester Institute also hosts an annual Progression Fair, organised for students to find out about the opportunities available for when they have finished their studies. The event attracts over 50 representatives from the world of work, higher education and voluntary organisations.

The College holds the matrix quality standard for information, advice and guidance services. This is the Department for Education’s (DfE) standard for ensuring the quality of the delivery of information, advice and guidance is of the highest quality.


Careers Programme

The College offers a rich and varied CEIAG (careers education, information, advice and guidance) programme which is based upon the Gatsby Foundation’s Good Career Guidance benchmarks. Details of which can be found here:

Ask a Question

If you have a question or feedback for the careers team or if you are an employer  and would like to become involved with our Careers Programme, please contact us using the form below.

We value all feedback on our Careers Information Advice and Guidance services.

Louise Cantrill-Godden
Operational Careers Leader

Useful Links

Find out what a job involves and if it’s right for you.

The world of work explained with advice from people who’ve found the right path for them.

Higher Education

Find the right course and university for you

The organisation responsible for managing applications to Higher Education courses in the UK.


Apprenticeships explained

Alternative paths to university, including apprenticeship and volunteering opportunities.


Preparation for the world of work

Giving young people skills, careers support and tools to fulfil their potential

Careerometer: Job Comparison Tool

Start by typing in a job that you might be interested in and then select a match from the list to see the data. You can then include a second choice to compare the compare key information about the different jobs – including salary, working hours etc.

Use the Careerometer below to explore and compare your job ideas and help you make your course choice.

Skillsometer: Discover what jobs you might do in the future

This is a quiz that can help you figure out what you want to do in the future. After you start the quiz, you will be shown a series of cards with statements.

You will be presented with a series of statements. For each statement, please think about whether you would like or have an interest in doing this in a future job. Select the emoji that represents what you think. At the end, you will be given some ideas about jobs linked to what you would like to do.

If you wish to start again please refresh the page.

We understand that this time may be very difficult and overwhelming so we have provided some links in case you may need some extra support.

Emotional Wellbeing Support – Self Care.

Emotional Wellbeing Support.

Public Health England – a simple visual guide to looking after your feelings and your body during COVID 19.

Public Health England – Advice for Parents and Carers – Guidance for parents and carers on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus (COVID 19 pandemic.

Mental Health Foundation  – Advice and tips on looking after your mental health as lockdown eases and if you have to stay at home.

MIND – Advice and information on taking care of your mental health during coronavirus, access to free online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy modules on COVID 19 – support for emotions, Sleep, Stress and Resilience via the MIND online platform SilverCloud.

Young Minds – Coronavirus advice and mental health support for anyone struggling with self-isolation, coronavirus and the impact on your mental health.

Everymind Matters – An NHS website providing advice, support and information including self-care videos including self-care and social media and self-care and exercise.

NHS Mental Health Apps Library – A library of Apps available some free some at a cost to support your mental health and emotional wellbeing.

Samaritans – The Samaritans are there to listen, no judgement, no pressure.  Contactable 24/7 by calling, writing a letter or by email.

A link to the Samaritans self help app is also available on the Samaritans website.

Kooth – An online counselling and mental wellbeing platform for children and young people. Discussion boards, helpful articles, tips and support.

Student Minds – Resources, information and support for University Students

Student Space –   Online platform, provided by Student Mind for University Students seeking support with their mental health and emotional wellbeing. Phone, email, text message and webchat support from trained volunteers.

Guide to living with worry and anxiety (PDF)

Keeping yourself safe online

Keeping yourself safe online

At this time when you are likely to be spending more time online, we would like to remind you of support available for you to keep yourself safe online.

If it is an emergency or crisis situation please call the emergency services on 999. 

Foodbanks in Colchester

Foodbanks in Colchester

Colchester Foodbank

01206 621998

Mon10:00 – 14:00
Tue10:00 – 14:00
Wed10:00 – 14:00
Thu10:00 – 14:00
Fri10:00 – 14:00
Sat10:00 – 14:00


33 Moorside Business Park
(off East Hill, past Rollerworld onto the Moorside Estate)

Colchester Family Hub

Mon10:00 – 14:00
Wed10:00 – 14:00


63 North Station Road

Colchester Foodbank @ Greenstead

Tue10:00 – 12:00


7 The Centre
Hawthorn Avenue


Colchester Foodbank @ Brightlingsea


Wed10:30 – 12:30


Brightlingsea Parish Hall
Victoria Place

Colchester Foodbank @ Wivenhoe

01206 621998

Thu10:00 – 12:00


Congregational Church
High St

Clacton on Sea – Foodbanks

Clacton on Sea – Foodbanks

Clacton Food Bank (The Trussell Trust):

tel: 01255 431760


address: The Salvation Army Community Centre
103 Old Road
CO15 1HN


Clacton-on-Sea Project – Foodcycle:


Address: Pier Avenue Baptist Church
117 Pier Ave
CO15 1NJ

Braintree Area Food Banks

Braintree Area Food Banks

Telephone: 01376 330694



Monday 10.00 – 12.00
St Andrews Church Hall
Halsted Essex C09 2LD


Tuesday 10.00 – 12.00
The Church in Great Notley
Bridge End Lane Great Notley
Braintree Essex Cm77 7GN


Wednesday 11.00 – 14:00
Braintree Baptist Church
Blythes Meadows
Braintree Essex Cm7 3DA


Friday 10.00 – 14.00
Christ Church
London Road
Braintree Essex CM7 2LD


Friday 10.00 – 12.00
Witham Methodist Church
Guithavon Street
Witham Essex CM81BJ

The hours may be subject to change due to number of volunteers and change from the government and The Trussell Trust.

Please note this is a 3 day crisis service and can only be accessed with a voucher. To find out further information you can email or telephone.