Hereward College News

Friday, 16 March 2012

Our Autism in Pictures - Photography Exhibiton from the Aspergers Group!

The Aspergers Group is a social group for Young people on the Autistic Spectrum who are students at Hereward College. 

 Over the last couple of years we have collaborated with Coventry University on projects designed to further understanding of this often misunderstood condition.

This year the Students have undertaken a photography project, with the support of both Coventry University and the Herbert Art Gallery, with the intention of showing how their condition impacts on their daily lives. The culmination of this is an exhibition of their work at the Herbert Art Gallery. 
The exhibition runs from Wednesday 21st March until Sunday 8th April.
There is a launch event on Friday 23rd March at 1:30pm, when the Students involved will be available to discuss their experience of this challenging piece of work. 

Please watch the video bellow to find out more about the Hereward Aspergers Group and their past work.

Our Life, Our World, Our Autism 

Join this event on Facebook!

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Tuesday, 13 March 2012

From Breakfast Buzz to Employment Buzz!

The “Breakfast Buzz” has become a yearly event at Hereward College, where regional employers are invited to the College in order to engage with students and increase work experience opportunities. This event is planned to be a two way process – with all parties benefiting from the partnership.

The concept was started last year by the Student Services Department by organising two sessions, one for Creative and Media studies and one for Business and ICT studies. The whole process started from a college strategy day involving Governors, the Senior Management Team and the Operational Management Group, where the Operational Management Group was given specific targets. 

Marion Imber, Student Services Co-ordinator, ‘My target was to increase the number of external work experience opportunities for students. I came up with the idea of hosting a breakfast meeting where employers were invited in to allow students to learn about the world of work from them and for our students to showcase their work to employers.’ The term ‘Breakfast Buzz’ was suggested by Karen Johnson, Creative and Media Curriculum Head.

After a very successful event last year, with many opportunities arising, like half/full day work experience opportunities, visits to company premises and even a placement for Sound Engineering at Herbert Media, we decided to hold a whole week's focus on Employment this year and to link it to the National Careers Week which took place at the same time, since both events have the same objectives. But, since this year the event was more than just a breakfast (05-09 March), we called it the Employment Buzz!

The biggest surprise probably came from our Business Studies students, who proposed organising the Breakfast Buzz as part of their coursework. The students developed it into their own version and and held it as part of the Employment Week.
The idea was originally tested out via a student survey and we had a steering group of staff and students, including students Emily Seaman and Martin Berisford, who met weekly to bounce ideas and to move the programme forward. Emma and Martin were the links to the Breakfast Buzz event the students were organising.
Martin, a student at Hereward, stated that ‘I thought that the event actually went really well and was a real learning curve for me both academically and personally. I've learnt how to organise and liaise with people whilst showing to myself that I am capable of doing this and speaking/presenting to people I don't know, which is one of my huge fears. I thought the event itself though was really successful and speaking to a few students afterwards it was clear that is has helped people in terms of opportunities.’

The objectives of the Breakfast Buzz were to promote the college's skills and abilities to potential employers whilst trying to create some work opportunities for the students themselves. The emphasis was placed on current students showcasing themselves and their work and on past students who did presentations in order to demonstrate their success after leaving college. This enabled employers to see the vast potential of Hereward students and also inspired current students.

Businesses sat at tables with students in an informal setting and took part in a team building exercise and also networked with students looking at different curriculum activities. Here’s a list with all the employers which have attended the Breakfast Buzz.
If you would like to learn more about the employers and past students who attended the Breakfast buzz click here.
Katy Saunders, a teacher at Hereward, added: ‘I am so glad the Breakfast Buzz event was an enjoyable experience for those that attended both businesses and students alike. I found the focus on the student experience and the success stories an angle that was enlightening for students and businesses. Aideen Blackboroughs presentation was a real insight to how much someone can achieve despite and in some respects because of adversity and I think she provided inspiration for us all. It was a very full morning and everyone's time and input was very much appreciated. It is an idea that we can improve and build on this model and run future events that encourage more businesses to link and work with Hereward and invite more students to share their success stories.

Moreover, workshops were organised throughout the week in order to bring people into the College to explain the opportunities that are available - mostly in the local area.
Details on each organisation that attended workshops and available opportunities as a result of the workshops can be found here.

All of the workshop presenters were very keen to continue to work with the college and develop strong links with the students, similar to last year’s Breakfast Buzz.

The college is now in the process of following up the events with staff and student attendees for feedback.

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Friday, 9 March 2012

Hereward College - Mindful Employer

As an employer, Hereward College understands that time lost due to stress, anxiety or depression represents a considerable cost to the organisation.

While taking part in the Mindful Employer initiative, Hereward College aims to safeguard the mental health of its staff and save the time and cost associated with sickness absence. Our objectives are to increase awareness of mental health at work and make sure that the right support is provided to the people with mental health issues in order to make sure they can continue employment effectively.

We are pleased to announce that Hereward College is now officially a Mindful Employer. We have signed the Charter which confirms our commitment to work towards the principles of the Charter and minimise any disadvantages to people with mental health issues.

The principles of the Charter For Employers Who Are Positive About Mental Health are the following:

As an employer we recognise that:
  • People who have mental health issues may have experienced discrimination in recruitment and selection procedures. This may discourage them from seeking employment.
  • Whilst some people will acknowledge their experience of mental health issues in a frank and open way, others fear that stigma will jeopardise their chances of getting a job.
  • Given appropriate support, the vast majority of people who have experienced mental ill health continue to work successfully as do many with on-going issues.
As an employer we aim to:
  • Show a positive and enabling attitude to employees and job applicants with mental health issues. This will include positive statements in local recruitment literature.
  • Ensure that all staff involved in recruitment and selection are briefed on mental health issues and The Equality Act 2010, and given appropriate interview skills.
  • Make it clear in any recruitment or occupational health check that people who have experienced mental health issues will not be discriminated against and that disclosure of a mental health problem will enable both employee and employer to assess and provide the right level of support or adjustment.
  • Not make assumptions that a person with a mental health problem will be more vulnerable to workplace stress or take more time off than any other employee or job applicant.
  • Provide non-judgemental and proactive support to individual staff who experience mental health issues.
  • Ensure all line managers have information and training about managing mental health in the workplace. 
Ben Arnold, HR Manager at Hereward College, wanted to add that 'The Charter is a voluntary agreement seeking to support the College in working within the spirit of its positive approach. The Charter is about working towards the principles mentioned above and not the immediate fulfilment of them. Signing up is a step along a journey and most definitely not the end of it.'

For more information about the latest achievements of the Hereward HR Department also look at our Investors in People Report ,our Two Tick Scheme Accreditation and the TES FE Outstanding HR Team Award 2011

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