Ayrshire College shortlisted for two major college awards

Ayrshire College shortlisted for two major college awards

Ayrshire College has earned two nominations at the 2021 College Development Network (CDN) College Awards.

The CDN College Awards celebrate the talent, skills and achievements of Scotland’s colleges, their staff and learners.

The College has been shortlisted in the College Community Learning and Inclusive College categories for its Alcohol and Drug Partnership Peer Programme and Rockpool Podcasts, respectively.

The Peer Programme is an innovative collaboration between Ayrshire College and its partners in the community with the aim of achieving sustainable job outcomes and better lives for its participants.

Ayrshire College and South Ayrshire Council’s Alcohol and Drug Partnership have created a course that has turned people’s lives around and given them the opportunity to give back to the community using the benefit of their lived experience.

Mark MacMillan, Community Learning Facilitator & Employability and Engagement Officer at Ayrshire College, said: “This programme has been developed over the years to give the peers the confidence and ability to go out there and get a job in recovery and support.

“Partnership working in the community is an area I feel colleges can have a huge impact on the lives of the very people at the heart of it. This has never been more important than right now in such challenging times that we face.”

Fraser Lennox, Team Leader - Community Employability and Engagement at Ayrshire College, added: “This project is a direct result of working effectively in collaboration in the heart of the community with partners who are focused on the same pathways and destinations for their clients.”

Rockpool Podcasts is a variety podcast show featuring a mix of interviews, special guests, standalone episodes, themed episodes, and episodes produced by Ayrshire College students.

Co-hosted by Music and Sound Production lecturer John McBlain, Equality and Inclusion Advisor Sara Turkington, and Music student Joe Smith, the podcast has produced over 100 episodes on Spotify and has become an important asset to the College in a time when the pandemic has disrupted college life.

It enables students and staff to establish and maintain a connection with the College community and confirms and reinforces the values, ethos, culture and diversity of Ayrshire College.

John McBlain, Music and Sound Production lecturer at Ayrshire College, said: “The podcast champions conversations around things that matter, such as: suicide awareness, mental health, LGBT+ communities, inclusion and diversity. We have produced episodes in collaboration with the likes of ACES, PEEPLE, HIT Scotland, NHS Ayrshire & Arran.

“I take a lot of pride in enabling our students to see value in themselves and their work, be part of a conversation and be part of a community. A community that encourages greatness, motivates learning, and inspires creativity, enterprise and entrepreneurship.”

Ayrshire College has fond memories of last year’s virtual event, winning the main prize of the night – the Judges’ Award – after winning the Innovation Award and being Highly Commended in the Employer Connections Award.

This year’s awards will take place at a celebration ceremony at Glasgow’s Radisson Blu hotel on Thursday 9 December 2021.

24 September 2021

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