This December, Richmond upon Thames College (RuTC) is launching ‘12 Days of Kindness’, mirroring the famous song ‘12 days of Christmas’. Starting from Wednesday 1 December there will be opportunities for students and staff to get involved with various activities promoting kindness.
Below is a list of activities that students and staff can get involved with:
Day 1: Wednesday 1 December – sign up to volunteer at a local soup kitchen.
Day 2: Thursday 2 December – extra Bursary payments will be allocated to identified students who are in need and have 100% attendance.
Day 3: Friday 3 December – donate food for a local food bank. Student Services are collecting donations in room G14.
Day 4: Monday 6 December – donate items to an Afghan refugee charity in memory of our student, Hazrat Wali. Student Services are collecting donations in room G14.
Day 5: Tuesday 7 December – donate any new toiletries for local families through the Salvation Army. Student Services are collecting donations in room G14.
Day 6: Wednesday 8 December – get involved in a befriending session that will happen in the College’s Learning Centre, 12-2pm, where students can meet and talk to new people.
Day 7: Thursday 9 December – the College will be donating money to sponsor a room with Centrepoint homeless charity. If you would like to contribute please see Student Services in room G14.
Day 8: Friday 10 December – Christmas Jumper Day and Christmas Fair. Staff and students will be fashioning their Christmas jumpers to raise money for Save the Children.
There will also be a Christmas Fair with free mince pies and hot chocolate, glow in the dark table tennis in the sports hall and stalls by local organisations including Mind Richmond, Heatham House, Metro Charity and Student Council representatives.
Day 9: Monday 13 December – Red Box project items donated to a local refuge.
Day 10: Tuesday 14 December – Supported Learning students will be making a blankets made with empty crisp packets and donating them to the homeless. You can donate foil lined crisp packets to Student Service in room G14 (before 14 December).
Day 11: Wednesday 15 December – students will be litter picking in the community.
Day 12: Thursday 16 December – film day in the Auditorium - we will be showing 'A Nightmare Before Christmas' from 12-1.30pm.
How to get involved?
If you’re interested in volunteering at the soup kitchen or helping to deliver Christmas cards or litter picking, speak to Student Services in room G14.
You can donate the following to Student Services room in room G14:
- Unused toiletries for The Salvation Army.
- Tinned, dried and long-life food items for the College’s local food bank.
- Winter clothing for the Afghanistan Red Cross in memory of our student, Hazrat Wali.
- ‘Red Box Project’ (sanitary) items for a local refuge.
- Foil lined crisp packets, these will be made into blankets and donated to the homeless.
If you’d like to donate money to Save the Children for Christmas Jumper Day, click here.
If you would like t contribute to the donation to the sponsored room with Centrepoint, please see Student Services in room G14.
Performing and Production Arts (Acting) Level 3 students, Lila Judge, Annie Petchey and Conor Taylor were invited to perform on the 5th of November in 15-minute radio-play ‘Finders Keepers’ alongside actress, Wendy Allnut for a radio play competition hosted by Arts Richmond.
Creative Media Level 2 students, Nathan Roaf and Alper Sarikavak also assisted with helping record, edit and publish the radio play.
Actress Wendy Allnut, best known for her roles in ‘Oh What a Lovely War’, ‘When Eight Bells Toll’ and ‘Man about the House’, volunteered to help neighbour, Patricia Cammish, with her radio play as the competition deadline was imminent.
Realising they could not produce the play alone to such a tight deadline, Wendy Allnut, sought the assistance of Richmond upon Thames College’s students and staff.
Marius Smuts, Creative Media Production teacher alongside Jane Swift, Performing Arts teacher and Performing Arts Facilitator, Rhys Slyfield, were delighted to be asked to help with such an important project and knew their students would be thrilled to be involved.
Marius explains, “We always welcome opportunities to work alongside our local community here in Richmond, so I knew our students would relish the chance to perform and assist with this production.”
He continues, “Our students did a wonderful job performing and producing the play and enjoyed every second of it. It was lovely to see the community and college pulling together to complete this project in time - I’m really proud of everyone involved.”
The competition by Arts Richmond to write a 15-minute radio-play was arranged in honor and memory of Colin Skipp, who played Tony Archer in the popular BBC radio serial ‘The Archers’.
The four finalists including Patricia Cammish, attended the competition finale on the 7th of November in the Mayor of Richmond’s parlour at York House, Twickenham.
On Friday 5 November, Travel and Tourism Level 2 and Level 3 year 2 students were visited by Dr. Peter Smith from the University of West London, who spoke about the Travel and Tourism industry and university opportunities.
The sessions covered the economic impacts of tourism, tourism growth worldwide and the effects of Covid-19 on the Travel and Tourism industry. He also spoke to the students about how to write UCAS applications and personal statements for university Enry and covered the different degree programmes offered by the University of West London.
Travel and Tourism teacher, Hannah Talabany said: "Talks like this are beneficial to our students as it gives them an insight into the industry and helps them to think about their next steps and how university can help them to develop their career options. The students found the talk really informative and has given them a lot to think about."
This September, Richmond upon Thames College (RuTC) and the Harlequins Foundation entered into an exciting new partnership to deliver the Community Activator Coach Apprenticeship. The apprenticeship offers a unique opportunity to receive training from professional Harlequin coaches and experienced teachers from RuTC.
A Community Activator Coach Apprentice will promote, deliver and coach fun, inclusive and engaging activities that help communities keep a physically active lifestyle. Apprentices will work with an employer for 80% of their apprenticeship, with 20% dedicated to shared training between Harlequins and RuTC.
With five apprentices recruited to this new and unique programme, Harlequins and RuTC intend to grow the programme. This year’s new recruits spent the first day on their apprenticeship at Harlequins Stoop on a guided tour and held and took photos of the Gallagher Premiership trophy, which Harlequins won in June and the Allianz Premier trophy, won by the women’s team.
Harlequins Foundation Manager said: “We’re delighted to be delivering our apprenticeship programme, in partnership with Richmond upon Thames College. The programme offers young people, who want to pursue a career in sport the opportunity to gain experience, vital qualifications and get paid, all at the same time. Young people who complete the programme will leave with recognised qualifications as well as the confidence they need to become great coaches. We’re immensely proud to be delivering this programme and providing young people with the opportunity to acquire the Essential Skills and they need to succeed in the sector.”
Sheila Fraser Whyte, Executive Director, Business and innovation at Richmond upon Thames College, commented: “It is wonderful to have our first of many cohorts of Community Activator Coach apprentices and we look forward to working in partnership with Harlequins Foundation on this special apprenticeship which ensures that young people understand the benefits of sport and adopt an active and health lifestyle”.
Find out more about Apprenticehships at RuTC by clicking here.
It is with enormous sadness that my first update of the new academic year contains the news that one of our students, Hazrat Wali, lost his life in a knife related incident last month. Hazrat, his family and friends are in the thoughts of our whole College community: our students, their parents and our staff. The entire College community has been shocked by this incident and the Principal and his senior team are working very closely with the police, Local Authority and wider community groups at this time. Later this year the Board of the College will discuss what additional measures may need to be taken to provide reassurance that our College community - including our wider local community – is safe. Right now, however, we remember Hazrat: a hardworking, conscientious student who was well liked by his fellow students.
You may recall in my last newsletter (June 2021) that we took the decision to delay the completion of the merger between HCUC (Harrow College & Uxbridge College) and RuTC.
Richmond upon Thames College continues to work with all relevant stakeholders on the planning/development issues that need to be resolved before completion of the merger. Good progress is being made and it is our continued hope that these matters will be resolved as swiftly as possible this academic year and that the delay to merger will therefore only be a short one. HCUC and RuTC continue to work very closely together and remain committed to the merger.
Due to the early release of GCSE results, enrolment at RuTC started a week earlier than in previous years. The College welcomed over 2,000 students to face to face classroom learning on a wide range of courses. Feedback from learners is that they are excited by the opportunities and on-site facilities available to them at the College.
The College is still focusing on keeping all our students and staff safe whilst with us in the College. We continue with our Covid regulations:
- Wearing face masks in communal areas (unless exempt)
- Regular cleaning of communal areas and equipment
- An on-site pop-up vaccination hub for students (organised through the NHS)
- Maintaining social distancing where possible
- Lateral flow kits being available for testing
- Hand sanitiser dispensers located at key points
College News and Events
Our annual Freshers’ Fair took place on Wednesday 22 September. Students were able to browse a range of stands hosted by local services which included: Off the Record, Mind Richmond, Metro Charity, National Citizen Service (NCS), Nuffield Health, Anthony Nolan Foundation and Heatham House. Fun activities that the college made available for students included: racing each other on an inflatable obstacle course, battling it out with glow in the dark table tennis and meeting other students from different curriculum areas. The day’s highlights were perhaps the musical performances and these included one given by a member of the College teaching team - Henry Knudsen - who played some wonderful songs on his saxophone. Our students, Nia Videnova and Okan Kosanoglu, bravely took to the mic to sing and rap to a large audience of students and staff.
Parents Welcomed to Richmond events
Our Parents’ Welcome to Richmond sessions was a great success. Dr Jason Jones, our Acting Principal spoke about student life at RuTC and how to access information using the Parents’ Portal. Parents had a tour of various curriculum areas and facilities. Curriculum staff were on hand to take questions. Feedback was very positive, and parents enjoyed the opportunity to visit the new building and find out more about how we support students and the learner journey.
The View restaurant is our new training restaurant and kitchen. Due to government restrictions, there has been a delay to the opening of this wonderful facility. The View restaurant is located on the top floor of our new building and affords a spectacular panorama that stretches across the London skyline, with an exclusive vista of Twickenham Rugby Stadium.
Whilst The View offers an incredible and unique learning opportunity to our students, it is also an important amenity within our local community. The restaurant can accommodate up to 80 customers who will be served by our hospitality students. Food is created by our student chefs and offered at reasonable prices and we look forward to welcoming you to our restaurant.
The View is open to the public on the following days and times:
Tuesdays 12pm -2pm
Wednesdays 12pm-2pm & 5.30pm-9pm (Themed Events)
Upcoming Themed Evenings
24 November - Beaujolais Dinner
7, 8, 14, and 15 December - Christmas Dinner
On Friday 24 September 2021 at Twickenham Stadium RuTC was the proud winner of the ‘Best Training and Development’ award. RuTC won the award, sponsored by St Mary’s University, for its quick response to teaching and learning during the pandemic. The College was commended on how swiftly it moved to fully remote delivery at short notice.
World Mental Health Day
On Friday 8 October, RuTC supported the Young Minds campaign #HelloYellow to raise funds and awareness for young people and their mental health. Students baked cakes which were sold to staff and students. A total of £225 was raised to support this worthwhile campaign.
Black History Month – October 2021
RuTC is involved in the latest campaign launched by Black History Month UK. Inspired by the 2020 Black Lives Matter events, the campaign is called ‘Proud to Be’. The campaign aims to make Black History Month 2021 personal and unique to individuals, families and communities, focusing on the contributions and achievements of black people throughout history. Students are being asked to share their stories and experiences which will then be shared across the College.
In September, seven of Richmond upon Thames College’s Supported Learning students spent a day volunteering at the Dig Day organised by Age UK Richmond which took place at the charity’s allotments in Shacklegate Lane, Teddington. On this occasion, the students helped with preparing vegetable plots for mulching over the winter.
In September, RuTC also launched its ‘Veg to Fork’ project which gives Supported Learning students the exciting opportunity to create a Learning Garden in an area of London near the entrance to the Richmond building. The garden’s unique shape will be a place for learning and growing produce to be used by the students to cook at the College’s Apple Tree Café or restaurant, The View. The area is also being created for all staff and students (and local wildlife!) to take quiet reflection.
The Learning Garden project was given to our First Year Level 3 Art and Design students last year and the winning entry was created by Bruno Lo Giudice who is supporting on the implementation of his plan.
Community Activator Coach Apprenticeship Programme
Earlier this term, RuTC introduced a new apprenticeship programme, Community Activator Coach. This is a unique apprenticeship programme being delivered by the College in partnership with Harlequins Foundation. On the first day, the apprentices had a tour of the Harlequins grounds and the opportunity to see and pose with the Gallagher Premiership trophy which Harlequins won in June this year and the Allianz Premier trophy won by their women’s team. This special apprenticeship ensures that young people understand the benefits of sport and adopt an active and healthy lifestyle.
I hope you have enjoyed reading the latest news about Richmond upon Thames College.
On Wednesday 3 November, Art and Design (Pre BA) Level 4 Foundation Diploma students exhibited the work they produced in the first couple of months of their course.
The exhibition’s theme ‘Cut Loose’ offered students the opportunity to move away from their traditional ways of working and gain confidence in trying something new. The exhibition took place in the College’s art gallery, which is situated on the top floor.
Caroline King, RuTC Art and Design teacher, said, “The Cut Loose exhibition showcases the foundation students’ creativity from the first 6 weeks of their course. They developed personal themes and agendas to inspire their work and ‘worked outside the box’ with their approaches.”
Have a look at the students’ artwork below and find out more about studying Art and Design at RuTC.