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Spring Community Week Roundup

22 March 2024
Our Spring Community Week has given students the opportunity to focus on making a real difference in their local area.

This week (Monday 18 – Friday 22 March) has been our Spring Community Week, where we focus on making a real difference in our community and give students the tools to help impact the lives of many.

Community Weeks are held across the East Kent Colleges Group twice a year, with staff and students from around the College getting involved wherever they can.

Here’s a quick summary of our highlights from the week:

Hairdressing, Business, Health and Early Years raise money for Criterion Blue Town

Hairdressing, Business, Health and Early Years students have been working together to raise money for the Criterion Blue Town, a local heritage centre, cinema and music hall.

The main event which was a hair and fashion show to be held at the Criterion on the Monday, with ticket sale proceeds going directly to the venue.

Our Hair students were hard at work in the Salon in the morning, creating fantasy and eras inspired looks using their hair and beauty skills.

Joining us were local industry experts who took part as judges for the show. They were Nicola Dinmore, a Senior stylist at Ginger Hair and Beauty, Matt Tovey, the Salon Owner of Mastercuts and Helen King, a Home Salon owner/Stylist with Hair by Helen.

Business students had helped to promote this event locally and sell tickets in the weeks leading up to the event. They were also in our Salon during the creation of the looks, taking photos to use for their portfolio and future marketing projects.

Once the finished looks were complete, our students, models and staff went over to the Criterion for the show to start at 1pm. They were joined by our Early Years and Health students, who were greeting guests, including residents from Barton Court Care Home, and serving refreshments throughout the afternoon.

Lily, one of our Early Years students said during the show: “We’ve made sure the guests here been comfortable, giving them lots of tea and coffee. Personally, I think it’s really good to be involved in the community a lot more. It gets me out there and as I’m not from Sheppey its’ good to be communicating with those who live and work here.”

Caitlin, who worked alongside Lily on the day, said, “I’ve got a boost of confidence thanks to today. I was worried this morning about how it would go with my role, but it’s been great to take part.”

Our models walked the stage in front of everyone and showed off their looks, with the judges rating them on presentation, precision and overall design against their initial mood boards.

1st Place went to Salina, who had created an Egyptian Pharaoh inspired look.

Jess Hughes, Lecturer for Hairdressing who had organised the show, said afterwards: “The students have been prepping and planning for this since Christmas. They’ve built resilience, they’ve worked under pressure and used timings. They’ve also gone out of their comfort zone by using new skills and new idea and have produced amazing work today.”

The full amount raised is currently being counted, but we can’t wait to see the impact we’ve had.

Progression and Health visit Age UK’s Dementia Café

Age UK run Dementia Cafes during the week for people with dementia, their families and carers. These sessions enable residents in the area to meet other people with the condition, make new friends, play games and have lunch in a relaxed environment.

Students from our Level 1 Progression and Health and Social Care courses went along on the Thursday to take part. They were a big help to the Age UK Sheppey staff and they took part in all the activities with the service users.

Games throughout the day included Dominoes, Bingo, Connect 4 and Jenga, and there were also drawing and dancing activities designed to stimulate the brain.

The service users loved meeting and interacting with our students and have personally invited them to come back anytime soon. The staff agreed, praising our students for their caring and kind manners and thanked them for their support.

Progression student Sharna said: “I enjoyed chatting today and hearing them tell me about their lives. Everybody was really laughing and joking so it was quite nice to see them so happy. I’d love to go back as they need people to speak to and they personally asked me to come back myself. It’s been quite a lovely thing to do.”

Jack, a fellow Progression student, added: “I’ve learnt how to help people and it’s been good to see how I can help people with what they are going through, in a nice atmosphere.

It’s been great to see our students come out of their shells and improve their interpersonal skills in this way.

Construction renovate Sheppey United Football Club

Our Construction students went along to Sheppey United Football Club on the Friday to maintain the grounds and refurbish the facilities.

We have great links with the club and our students enjoyed the visit as it’s a local club they care about and visit regularly. This was an opportunity for them to make a direct impact.

They worked hard during the day, painting signs, indoor spaces and advertising displays with new coats of paint to keep them looking fresh.

Aaron Gray, Construction Lecturer, said of the visit: “The club is always appreciative of any volunteers, so it’s great to get involved and give back to the community. There’s always something to do and help with. In return for us helping to maintain the grounds and refurb the facilities when they need doing, our students get free tickets to many of the games.”

It has been a great week for our students, with many having achieved new goals and using the skills grown throughout College to help them. We can’t wait to continue with community projects such as these throughout the year.