College scoops award for action in the community

From left, BBC Breakfast’s Steph McGovern, head of faculty Angela Hayles and head of projects and partnerships for the Edge Foundation, Jane Samuels

A COLLEGE praised for developing a moral and social code has won a national accolade for a ‘forward-thinking’ community project.

Abingdon & Witney College has collected the Edge Award for Practical Teaching and Learning at an Association of Colleges (AoC) Beacon Awards ceremony in Birmingham last week.

The college, which boasts four campuses, was represented in three categories and collected its award for its Action Tap project, which encourages students to help causes within the community.

Principal Di Batchelor said it was a ‘fantastic privilege’ to win the award.

She said: “We are immensely pleased to have continued our proud tradition of being recognised in multiple categories at the awards.

“To have one of our amazing and forward-thinking social projects recognised on the national stage in further education is brilliant.

“The students and local community have fully engaged with this initiative, and the staff have worked tirelessly to get it to where it is today.”

It involves students across business, accounting, sport, public services and events and tourism, who unite to work collaboratively on social action projects. Activities as part of the Action Tap project have included sports coaching at schools, helping to run and support charity events, weekly hospital visits and networking at local business events.

The college was a close runner-up in the two other categories: the AoC Award for Mental Health and Wellbeing and the Student of the Year Award, where former student Kirsty Newman only narrowly missed out on the top spot.

Carole Stott, chair of the AoC Charitable Trust, said: “Every year the Beacon Awards receive many excellent submissions and the high standard made it hard for assessors to determine the winning application in each category.

“All the entries demonstrated the commitment of colleges to create the best possible experience for their students. Abingdon and Witney College can be rightly proud to be named as the winners of their category.”

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