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Top achievers at East Berkshire College were honoured at the College’s annual Stand Out Awards Ceremony on Tuesday (21st June).

Former student and co-founder of the charity EduHaitian, Olivia Owen was guest speaker at the prestigious event, which was held at the College’s Langley Campus in Station Road.

The awards acknowledged the outstanding achievements of over 110 students, across both the Langley and Windsor colleges. Prizes were awarded for excellence, endeavour, achievement, service to the community and most promising student for each of the College’s curriculum areas as well as an overall Learner of the Year, Apprentice of the Year and Alumni of the Year.

An elated Michaela Simsova (aged 21, from Colnbrook), who is studying the Diploma in Sports and Active Leisure at Langley College, received the accolade of overall College Student of the Year.

“I’m surprised and delighted,” enthused Michaela. “I’ve never won anything like this before. My English wasn’t very good when I first started at the College, but my lecturers were really supportive and taught me to believe in myself. Thanks to them, I have been able to progress my studies, gain a part-time job as a fitness instructor and follow my dream of going to university to study physiotherapy.”

In addition to her studies, Michaela is an active member of the College community and volunteers as a college sports activator, regularly running sports sessions for other students.

Another winner was champion slalom canoeist and former student Mallory Franklin, who won the coveted Alumni of the Year Award for her outstanding sporting achievements since graduating in 2012. Since studying sports and exercise science at the College, Mallory has represented Great Britain all over the world and achieved three Senior World Cup gold medals, two Senior World Championship silver medals and a Senior European Silver medal. Most recently she won gold in the C1 canoeing event at the 2016 World Cup in France.

This year’s Apprentice of the Year Award went to Tom Wigington (aged 17), who is currently working as a carpentry apprentice for Deadline Cutting Limited in Watford: “Winning this award gives me the confidence of knowing I’m going in the right direction. I find it easier to learn by doing something practical rather than sitting at a desk, so being an apprentice is great as you’re out there learning and earning money at the same time.”

Olivia Owen gave an inspiring and heartfelt speech, talking of the unwavering support she received during her time at college. Support that led her to transform her life and give her the confidence to undertake an incredible journey of humanitarian work in Haiti, following a devastating earthquake. Since completing her childcare course in 2010, Olivia has worked in orphanages, taught English, helped with reconstruction projects and co-founded the charity EduHaitian, where she is continuing her mission to provide school scholarship for children in need.

“East Berkshire College is a really special transformative place for me, so I was honoured to return to speak at the annual awards. I dropped out of school and didn’t think education was for me, but coming to the College changed everything for me. I was nurtured by some incredible teachers, who really believed in me.

“Thanks to the College, I not only achieved my qualifications, but went on to study International Studies at Goldsmiths University and I’ve set-up the charity EduHaitian. When we launched the charity in 2011, we were able to support five children in Haiti to go to school and now five years on, we are able to help 50 young people access education.”

The special evening event was attended by over 300 guests, which included students, parents, teachers and local dignatries. Hospitality and catering students served up a delicious range of canapés at the event, while performing arts students narrated the proceedings.

For further information on East Berkshire College and its extensive range of over 800 courses available, please click here or call 01753 793000

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From Bollywood dancing and creative nail art to a plastering challenge and a petting farm, there was an extravaganza of activities to entertain and educate visitors at East Berkshire College's new look Langley College on Saturday (9th May).

Over 1,900 visitors enjoyed a host of demonstrations, games and stalls at the College's annual Summer Fun Day in Station Road. With something for all the family, this free community event saw college students and staff showcase their talents in an array of interactive demonstrations and displays. As well as entertaining visitors, the fun day also raised over £850 for children's charity, Alexander Devine Children's Hospice Service.

Highlights of the day included a petting zoo (from baby goats to rabbits), Karan's Bollywood masterclass, face painting, a bungee trampoline, a bouncy castle, fun photo scenes, Raspberry Pi programming, a banana piano and various arts and crafts activities. Hair and beauty students demonstrated the latest hair-up styles and provided free mini manicures in the brand new salons, while a football challenge took place in the Sports Centre.

Younger visitors were also able to have a go at decorating biscuits, model making and watching balloon sculpting by Dali Balooni, while the College's catering students were selling a selection of delicious handmade cupcakes. The local Fire & Rescue Service also brought along a fire engine much to the delight of some budding young firefighters.

Juliet Holloway, Director of Learner Service and Communications at the College, explains:

"This is the third Summer Fun Day the College has held and the most successful so far, with over 1,900 visitors through the doors.

"As well as showcasing our exciting new facilities and our range of over 800 courses, the event is a great opportunity to bring the community together and celebrate local talent. From sports to hairdressing and computing to face painting, there was something to entertain and inspire those of all ages. "

There was also a marketplace with local businesses selling a wide range of products. Businesses exhibiting included Moss End Farm Shop, The Dinky Fingerprint Company, Chalfont Chilli and Mantio Ice Cream.

Staff and students were also on hand to give visitors a guided tour of the facilities and answer questions on the College's extensive range of over 800 full-time and part-time courses including apprenticeships.

Iver resident Violet O'Rourke was impressed with the free event at Langley College: "We had a great free family day out. I was amazed at the range of activities on offer and what great facilities the students have here. I wish I had these when I was at college. We particularly loved the children's area, bungee trampoline and the farm animals."

East Berkshire College continues to go from strength to strength in terms of raising standards and is currently in the final stages of a £30m refurbishment of its Langley College to provide state-of-the-art learning facilities for current and future students. These improvements include a new STEM Project and Research Centre featuring specialist workshops for the construction trades, which is due to be completed in August 2015.

For more information on East Berkshire College and its extensive range of courses, please click here or call 01753 793000.

Published in Life Skills

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From flower arranging and creative nail art to face painting and go karting, there was an extravaganza of activities to entertain and educate visitors at East Berkshire College’s new look Langley College on Saturday (10th May).

Over 1,200 visitors enjoyed a host of demonstrations, games and stalls at the College’s annual Summer Fun Day in Station Road. With something for all the family, this free community event saw college students and staff showcase their talents in an array of interactive demonstrations and displays.

Highlights of the day included a bouncy castle, a petting zoo (from meerkats to mini beasts), face painting, go-karting (over 11s), a bouncy castle, fun photo booth, flower arranging and various arts and crafts activities. Hair and beauty students demonstrated the latest hair-up styles and make-up techniques in the brand new salons, while a futsal tournament took place in the Sports Centre.

Younger visitors were also able to have a go at decorating biscuits in the new Zest restaurant, while the College’s catering students were selling a selection of handmade cupcakes and scones. The local Fire & Rescue Service also brought along a fire engine much to the delight of some budding young firefighters.

Juliet Holloway, Director of Learner Service and Communications at the College, explains: “We held our first Summer Fun Day at our Windsor College last year and it was such a success that we decided to hold another fun day at our Langley College to celebrate our new multi-million pound facilities.

“As well as showcasing our extensive range of courses and facilities, the event has been a great opportunity to bring the community together and celebrate local talent. From sports to hairdressing and face painting to go-karting, there was something to entertain and inspire those of all ages. All in all, the day was a tremendous success with a record number of visitors through the doors.”

There was also a marketplace with local businesses selling a wide range of products. Businesses exhibiting included Wingrove’s Farm Shop, The Dinky Fingerprint Company, Jewel Mansion, Chalfont Chilli and Mantio Ice Cream.

Staff and students were also on hand to give visitors a guided tour of the facilities and answer questions on the College's extensive range of over 800 full-time and part-time courses including apprenticeships.

Local resident, Kelly Hockley was particularly impressed by the range of activities at the event. “I saw the Summer Fun Day advertised and decided to come along to see the new look college and find out about a course. It’s a great event for the community. There was an excellent range of activities for children and adults. Plus, it was all free!”

Another visitor Donna Gale (from Langley) agrees; “I think the event is a great idea. I was able to find out about Higher Education courses, while the children had a great time having their hair and nails done in the salons here.”

East Berkshire College continues to go from strength to strength in terms of raising standards and is currently undertaking a £30m refurbishment of its Langley College to provide state-of-the-art learning facilities for current and future students. These improvements include a new commercial hair and beauty salons as well a brand new Sports Centre.

For more information on East Berkshire College and its extensive range of courses, please click here or call 0845 373 2500.

Published in Hair & Beauty

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