Over 40 students attended a Clothes Swap event last Thursday, which was organised by Richmond upon Thames College (RuTC) students who are taking part in the Friends of the Earth ‘My World My Home’ Community Campaigning enrichment programme.
Each year, students on this programme work with Friends of the Earth to decide on an environmental campaign to focus on and organise an event around this. Last year’s students worked on a charter to reduce single use plastic in the college. This year students have focussed their efforts on reducing clothing waste.
According to clothes waste charity, Wrap, the estimated value of unused clothing in wardrobes across the UK is around £30 billion, with an estimated £140 million worth of clothing going into landfill each year. The students who organised the Clothes Swap wanted to do something about this, whist providing students an opportunity to get a new wardrobe for free.
One of the event organisers, RuTC student Hasti Rezvan, said: “I did the swap shop because after discussing this matter, I felt really concerned and felt like I really needed to do something. Fast fashion matters because it is damaging the environment and it is something that not many people are aware of. It’s also really sad to see that in some countries people work long hours with low pay to make our clothes.”
Pictured (from left to right): Clothes Swap organisers, Bibi Lola Lewin-Sanderson, Desislava Gospodinova, Hasti Rezuan, Valenca Dias, Amelia Askew
This Mental Health Awareness Week, Richmond upon Thames College has reaffirmed their commitment to staff and students by signing up to a brand new national mental health and wellbeing charter - created by the Association of Colleges in conjunction with mental health experts.
The 11-point document includes commitments to:
- Promoting equality of opportunity and challenging mental health stigma
- Providing appropriate mental health training for staff
- Providing targeted individual mental health support where appropriate
Colleges across England teach and train 2.2 million people each year - including 685,000 young people. Every year, 1 in 10 young people experience a mental health problem and 1 in 5 young people aged 16-24 experience a common mental illness such as anxiety or depression at any one time. Add to these facts, 75% of adults with a diagnosable mental health problem experience their first symptoms before the age of 24 means Richmond upon Thames College plays a vital role in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of its students and staff.
Sharon Cousins, Assistant Principal – Student Experience at Richmond upon Thames College said:
“Every student and staff member deserves to work, study and train in an environment that supports them to be healthy, happy and secure. That is why I am proud to sign the AoC Mental Health and Wellbeing Charter on behalf of Richmond upon Thames College.
“We take our commitment seriously and whilst we have a great track record, we are always keen to do more. This charter provides a clear direction of travel that our students and staff can hold us to account as we continue to work together to support their health and wellbeing whilst they are at Richmond upon Thames College”
Richard Caulfield, Mental Health lead at the Association of Colleges, said:
“Every single day colleges like Richmond upon Thames College provide a world class education and transform the lives of millions of people. This includes providing support for both staff and student wellbeing at the right time, in the right place.
“Mental Health Awareness Week is an opportunity to celebrate the brilliant things that go on and our charter gives colleges the chance to publicly state their commitment to the mental health agenda.”
Luciana Berger MP, said:
“We know that young people in our country are facing a mental health crisis. We also know that our teaching workforce is experiencing endemic levels of stress and mental ill health.
The measures set out in this charter will help promote early intervention for those struggling with their mental health. We know that a supportive environment and being able to stay in meaningful education, training or work is one thing that can promote recovery.
I would encourage colleges across the country to sign up to the charter and send their students and staff a clear message that if they are struggling with their mental health, support is available.”
This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week coincides with the #LoveOurColleges campaign’s ‘week of action’, which sees colleges across the country hosting events to showcase the brilliant stuff they do, day in and day out.
If you are a student at Richmond upon Thames College and you feel like you need mental health or wellbeing support, please visit the Advice Hub in C15. Find out more here.
This academic year the AoC (Association of Colleges) launched the Love Our Colleges campaign to raise awareness of the important role colleges play in education.
From Monday 13 to Friday 17 May, the AoC is holding a week of activities around the Love Our Colleges campaign. During this week Richmond upon Thames College will be joining other colleges across the UK to make some noise on social media to raise the profile of this campaign.
Chief Executive and Principal of Richmond upon Thames College, Robin Ghurbhurun, will be speaking to students about the college’s new building development and the opportunities that will come with this. Not only will it be an innovative new space for learning, it will also be a hub for local businesses and will provide many opportunities to the local community.
As the Love Our Colleges campaign highlights; college education is incredibly important to the country’s economic growth. Colleges provide options that schools cannot and prepare young people for the work place and further study. 2.2 million people receive their education and training from colleges every year, so it is vital that the further education sector is properly recognised.
Zac Goldsmith MP also recently visited the college and said of the trip: “The new-build college will be truly inspirational and I am encouraged to see that so much of the building work is already completed. It is fantastic to have this facility in Richmond; it is a visionary space with lots of room for collaboration between different departments as well as local businesses. I look forward to visiting the college again when the campus is complete.”
Find out more about Richmond upon Thames College’s new campus that’s opening in early 2020.
On Tuesday 7 May, the Friends of Turner’s House in Twickenham visited Richmond upon Thames College’s (RuTC) Art department to take on the role of judges for a student project.
The project’s theme was ‘Light’, highlighting the art of J. M. W. Turner and Turner’s House through time-based media, such as animation, photography, installation and film. Art and Design Extended Diploma Level 3 students visited Turner’s House and got to know Turner’s artwork through own research, experiments and design processes. Turner was a London born and raised Romantic painter, commonly known for his imaginative landscapes. Turner’s residency in Twickenham now offers visitors the opportunity to see the environment, house and Thames landscape that inspired him.
For the past four years, the Friends of Turner’s House have been awarding RuTC students with Twickenham’s ‘Turner Prize’. Judge and member of the Friends of Turner’s House, Lynne Reeves, commented: “Every year we are more and more impressed with the quality of the students’ artwork. Not only are they learning about an extraordinary local painter and let him inspire them for their own art, but courses and projects like these will also prepare them for their future career.”
Winners will be announced at the Creative Arts and Media Exhibition Private View on Tuesday 25 June from 5pm to 8pm, which coincides with the RuTC Open Event. Members of the public are welcome to attend, further details are available at our event webpage.
Take a look at the photos below to get an impression of the artwork of RuTC’s Art students!
Judges from Friends of Turner's House: Joy Cuff, Lynne Reeves, Sue Swain
On Wednesday 8 May, Richmond upon Thames College hosted a roller disco in the Sports Hall that was organised by AoC Sport (Association of Colleges) as part of the ‘This Girl Can’ campaign.
Female students from Uxbridge College, St Dominic’s Sixth Form College, Sir George Monoux College and NewVIc took part in the two-hour roller skating disco, where quad roller skates and a DJ were provided. This event is one of many organised by AoC Sport for the ‘This Girl Can’ campaign, which aims to get more females involved in sport and physical activity.
Mark Brough, Commercial Facilities Manager says: “We work closely with AoC Sport on a lot of events and are always happy to facilitate them. If it means our students can get involved in some of these activates too, then even better.”
On Thursday 2nd of May, Richmond upon Thames College’s Level 1 Caring for Children (Early Years) students visited Hounslow Urban Farm to learn about different ways to teach children.
During the trip to the Farm, students learnt about how they can make educational trips for young people and children a fun and interactive learning experience. It is a great practical activity for the students as they learnt how to facilitate learning about animals, as well as learning plenty about the farm themselves.
The Early Years students had the opportunity to get directly involved with animals by feeding and petting them during the farm’s ‘animal encounter’ activities. One such animal was a friendly pig with a popular wizard inspired name - Harry Trotter. Students were also able to see an owl in full flight with the supervision of the owl’s trainer.
Curriculum Manager, Toni Whitehouse said: “This is always a great learning experience for our students, it gets them out of the classroom and thinking about different ways that they can teach and support children.
“Students had hoped to see a lamb being born as one of the sheep at the farm had entered labour shortly after their arrival. Unfortunately, the new lamb was too shy to make an appearance before the end of their visit.”
Take a look at some of the pictures from the trip.
On Friday 3rd May, Zac was invited by Robin Ghurbhurn, the CEO and Principal of Richmond Upon Thames College, to visit the new campus and meet the new Chair of Governors Nick Deeming. Zac’s visit consisted of exploring the new campus - currently under construction - in addition to hearing more about the vision of the school.
Richmond upon Thames College distinguishes itself from other colleges through working in collaboration with a variety of local businesses to offer students training and apprenticeship schemes. The newly built College will include a fully functioning restaurant with views extending to the telecoms tower, in addition to prime views of Twickenham Stadium. Students working in the college restaurant will be trained by Michelin Star chefs and trained to the highest levels. The College will also offer floor sprung dance studios, multimedia rooms for design students and one of the first electric car training facilities in London. The building will be fully operational for students by the end of February 2020.
Zac Goldsmith MP said of the trip:
“The new-build college will be truly inspirational and I am encouraged to see that so much of the building work is already completed. It is fantastic to have this facility in Richmond; it is a visionary space with lots of room for collaboration between different departments as well as local businesses. I look forward to visiting the college again when the campus is complete.”
Headliners works together with young vulnerable and disadvantaged people across London, North East England and Northern Ireland. Through learning programmes which involve unique usage of multi-media they create publications and broadcasts, some of which have been featured on BBC, SKY and ITV.
RuTC’s Adult Independent Living and Life Skills students worked together with Headliners, Crane Park Island and a professional photographer over 12 weeks to capture their experiences with nature. By creating digital stories, they faced the challenge of communicating their emotions about wildlife. Over the duration of the project, students discovered how to preserve the environment and keep riverside animals safe. In addition to learning how to express their view on nature, they also gained practical knowledge in using cameras and how to capture different styles of shots.
Kapil Lund, Independent Living student, said: “Nature makes me feel calm, relaxed, not stressed or busy.” His classmate Holly Stansby commented: “I like doing artwork at Crane Park. I really enjoy taking pictures of nature.”
Photography provided by Headliners.
In early April, the StopWatch Theatre Company performed their hard hitting play for Richmond upon Thames College’s (RuTC) students. The play is a collaboration between the theatre company, script writer Mark Wheeller and the Daniel Spargo-Mabbs Foundation. The foundation’s aim is to inform young people of the risks of substance misuse and prevent families from going through the pain of losing a child. The play toured for two weeks in 2018 and is performing for another 10 weeks this spring.
The 45 minute performance was a powerful illustration of Daniel Spargo-Mabbs’s story, an otherwise responsible teenager who died from an accidental overdose in 2014 after leaving his family home to attend a rave with the last words ‘I love you Mum - I promise I won’t die’. The play involved statements from Daniel’s family and friends that were re-enacted word for word to show the decisions that led to his death and the consequences for those close to him. The performance was followed by a 30 minute interactive drug and alcohol awareness workshop.
Cait Orton, RuTC’s Safeguarding and Equalities Officer, said: “This performance was a powerful and engaging piece of theatre. Our students learnt about making informed choices, being aware of risks and ways to put their own decisions into practice in pressured situations.”