Ayrshire College campaign earns two UK award nominations

Ayrshire College campaign earns two UK award nominations

Ayrshire College’s Connecting Communities initiative has been nominated for two UK-wide Smarter Worker Live Awards. 

Connecting Communities is an initiative launched in 2019 that has resulted in over 1,500 Ayrshire boys and girls participating in free sport.

The Connecting Communities programme develops a culture of free and sustainable health-based activity for students and the local community. Every session organised under the Connecting Communities name is free of charge, with free kit provided to every participant and free packed lunches during both Easter and Summer camps.

The programme provides free weekly football, para-football, dance, rugby and multi-sport sessions to boys and girls aged 5-18 and is supported by local sporting heroes Kris Boyd, Rose Reilly and Gordon Reid, who run football and rugby camps at Ayrshire College’s Kilmarnock Campus. 

The most recent success story for the Connecting Communities initiative has been the completion of its first ever Community Sports Hub BeAwesome Family Food Programme.

The six-week programme organised in partnership with the East Ayrshire Council Home Link team, the Kris Boyd Charity, the Kilmarnock Community Sports Trust and OnlySport resulted in seven mothers learning new recipes and cooking delicious, healthy meals in the College’s Refectory under the guidance of Ayrshire College Catering Services Team Leader.

Kevin Wells, East Ayrshire Council’s Strategic Lead: Communities, previously said of the initiative: “#BeAwesome is a great example of co-production between Ayrshire College and the Council using our assets and connections to make an impact in the lives of our community members who need it the most!

“Hosted within the wonderful Ayrshire College campus and engaging with college departments to provide childcare, physical activity provision and deliver the cooking skills to parents, this progressive partnership has allowed our families engaged with East Ayrshire’s Home Link team to have a fantastic six-week experience.”

The College has previously won awards at the Herald Digital Awards and Scottish Football Association (SFA) Grassroots Awards for Connecting Communities, and now looks to earn a UK-wide award win at the Smarter Worker Live awards ceremony, held at Emirates Old Trafford in Manchester on Thursday 23rd March 2023.

James Adams, Head of Learning and Skills for Sport & Fitness and Hospitality at Ayrshire College, said: "We at Ayrshire College are delighted to be shortlisted in not one but two national awards. This highlights just some of the exceptional work undertaken by the college staff and of course our outstanding students. What started off as a fairly small project has grown to become a flagship year-round initiative to promote physical activity and wellbeing to the wider community."

3 February 2023

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