On Friday the 23rd of February, the TES Awards held their gala awards night. Canterbury College became a runner up in the ‘Support for Learners’ category at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, where Alan Davies, comedian, actor and TV star, presented the awards.
The TES (Times Educational Supplement) Awards identify and praise colleges that improve the abilities of young people and adult learners. Following the launch of an Emotional Wellbeing Centre (EWC) in 2016, Canterbury College has been commended for the strengthened, continued support that has been provided in response to student feedback.
The EWC team delivered 2,254 sessions in its first year including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy group sessions and confidence building sessions. Individuals and institutions submitted more than 440 entries for the TES FE Awards from across the UK, proving Canterbury College’s performance to be outstanding.
Head of Canterbury College, Lucy McLeod, said:"It is always disappointing to not win an award, however, I am delighted that Canterbury College was shortlisted for the ‘Support for Learners’ TES Award, this recognised the fantastic work the College does to support students with mental health problems. It is a rising national problem and Canterbury College has been proactive in trying to tackle it."
The majority of issues that the EWC deals with include mental health concerns, most commonly in relation to depression or Safeguarding. There are trained Level 4 counsellors available for booked and drop in sessions alongside cognitive behaviour therapy sessions. As well as providing therapy for those affected by mental health issues, the EWC develops the social and empathic skills of students, providing the tools for future work and study placements.
The Emotional Wellbeing Centre was recognised by Ofsted in an inspection in 2017: “A specialist team and dedicated wellbeing centres at both Canterbury and Sheppey campus protect and promote student’s emotional wellbeing very effectively. Students spoke movingly of the impact these teams and facilities had on their ability to successfully complete their courses.”
Students have also commented on the impact of the EWC during their time at the College:
“Without it I wouldn’t be at College.”
“There is always someone to turn to.”
“I would not have completed my course without it.”
“It is friendly and welcoming.”
“Coming to the centre keeps us calm and makes us feel safe.”
It is evident that Canterbury College is continuing to improve; placing students at the heart of its purpose. The College is leading the way for FE student support, continually improving learners’ skills and has now been recognised for being nominated for a prestigious TES Award.