News & Press

DSC 0148Students from Brunel University London and Uxbridge College made annual Good Deeds Day 2019 a fantastic success with a wide range of voluntary fundraising activities in and around Uxbridge town centre.

From free manicures, to dance and music entertainment, to running a tea dance and providing support to older users of technology, the student volunteers made life easier for their community for a few hours and raised money for the Mayor of Hillingdon’s charities. Mayor Councillor John Morgan, accompanied on this occasion by his Escort Pauline Bianco, was guest of honour, and money raised went into his Charity Appeal. Professor William Leahy, Brunel’s Vice Provost for Students, Staff and Civic Engagement, also attended - including getting a manicure from Uxbridge College Beauty Therapy students!

The event, which involved more than 130 student volunteers from Brunel University London and Uxbridge College, included a range of stalls and activities in The Pavilions shopping centre and intu Uxbridge, extending to Shopmobility, Uxbridge Library, the Thames Valley Hospice charity shop, St Margaret’s Church and Christchurch in and around the town centre. Volunteering activities also took place around the borough including at Dovetail Community Outreach in Hillingdon, and West Drayton Community Centre.

Volunteers from both the college and university also helped collect for the Foodbank, helped run a stall for the local children’s bereavement charity HALO, gave out balloons and refreshments, and more. Brunel students took part in a range of activities including Digital Drop-in to support older technology users at the library, stalls in the Pavilions, and a tea dance. Uxbridge College students provided free manicures in the Pavilions, gave music and dance performances, cleaned mobility scooters, helped out at DASH bingo (Disablement Association Hillingdon), and helped pack bags for customers in stores including Wilko’s and M&S.

Professor Leahy commented: “Volunteering is at the centre of the Brunel student community and our students welcome the opportunity to contribute their time, knowledge and expertise within the local Hillingdon area and beyond. It was inspiring to see the number of students who volunteered their time to help others at the Good Deeds Day event and a shining example of volunteering in action – a good deed, no matter how big or small, really can make a difference to others.”

Nancy Rawlings Brunel Volunteers and PDC Job Shop Manager said: “The annual Good Deeds Day event is extremely important as it helps to encourage, promote and support student volunteering Hillingdon. It is a celebration of community involvement and the numerous charitable activities that are supported by Brunel University London and Uxbridge College volunteers. Our thanks to our community partners, dedicated volunteers and all who helped to make Good Deeds Day 2019 possible.”

Armani Campbell, Student Support Officer – Citizenship and Volunteering Activities, said: “This is an amazing opportunity for Uxbridge College students not only in terms of volunteering but to be at the heart of their community where they can make new links and help with groups they might not normally get a chance to work with. It is also very valuable for them to work with students from Brunel University London to help raise their aspirations around their options for the future.”

The Uxbridge College students who took part were from Beauty Therapy, ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages), Foundation Studies, Media, Performing Arts, Public Services, and Travel & Tourism courses.

The Mayor’s Charity Appeal supports Peter Pan and Wendy Children's Ward at Hillingdon Hospital, the national charity Phab (Physically handicapped and able-bodied) and Grangewood School in Eastcote for children with special needs. A total of £227 was raised for the appeal.

Annual Good Deeds Day in the borough, which began in 2013, helps promote and encourage student volunteering in Hillingdon, raise awareness of the positive impact that students have in the local community and develop community relationships.

This event was organised by Brunel Volunteers at Brunel University London, Uxbridge College, The Pavilions Uxbridge, Uxbridge BID and INTU Uxbridge.

For more pictures go to

WLB 2019 Awards 367West Met Skills apprentices from Uxbridge College and Harrow College are celebrating after winning Highly Commended awards in the prestigious West London Business Awards 2019.

Mohammad Umar Ahmed, Thomas Gillet and Connor Williams received their awards at a gala ceremony and dinner for the sixth annual West London Business Awards, held at Twickenham Stadium and hosted by Sky Sports presenter Alex Payne - pictured far left. Uxbridge College Performing Arts students also provided entertainment with a dance performance.

The three apprentices come under the umbrella of West Met Skills, which provides apprenticeships, CPD, bespoke training, and statutory qualifications to west London employers through the two colleges.

Mohammad Umar Ahmed (pictured third from right) - Laboratory Technician Level 3 - University of Westminster (Harrow College). Described as exceptionally conscientious and diligent, Mohammad gained excellent technical skills by learning from the chemistry and medical microbiology technicians, and made significant improvements across the workplace. He re-organised the glass store so it could be used appropriately and efficiently, and decluttered throughout, increasing lab capacities by 50-60% and freeing up seating for an extra 82 students in the labs. Staff, PhD students and researchers all compliment him on his work.

Thomas Gillet (pictured second right) - Infrastructure Technician Level 3 - One Care iT Limited IT and web support (Uxbridge College). Thomas is a fantastic communicator and teamworker with excellent initiative who has always gone the extra mile for clients. He is great at solving problems under pressure and helps meet business goals, including signing up new clients at Hillingdon Expo and conducting a ‘GDPR-gap’ survey to identify client needs and create solutions.

Connor Williams (pictured third left) - Mechanical Engineering Level 3 - John Guest plumbing systems (Uxbridge College). An excellent role model with great technical skills, Connor ensures he understands all technical terms thoroughly and helps other apprentices learn too. He has very good communication skills and creates innovative engineering solutions which integrate with existing systems and improve efficiency.

Jo Withers, Executive Director Employer Services and Partnerships, said: “West Met Skills, Harrow College and Uxbridge College are all extremely proud to have three apprentices chosen for Highly Commended Awards in 2019’s West London Business Awards - congratulations to them all! With the colleges’ excellent track record of delivering training for over 50 years, it stands to reason that the West Met Skills collaboration is proving to be a major success and these awards underscore just how effective its training and support packages are.”

West Met Skills grew out of the long-standing and successful Employer Services teams at Uxbridge College and Harrow College following the legal merger of the two colleges to create HCUC (Harrow College Uxbridge College). As well as providing a full range of apprenticeships and other skills-based training, the organisation matches trainees and candidates to existing vacancies. West Met Skills works with over 700 apprentices and 1200 employers at any given time.

Uxbridge College and its partner employers and apprentices have previously been successful in the West London Business Awards in 2017, 2015, 2014 and 2013.

For more information about West Met Skills go to

DSC 0060Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton MP praised Uxbridge College’s “brilliant work” and shared her passionate support for further education with students and staff during a recent high profile visit.

The Minister toured computing and engineering facilities, and saw hands-on skills such as mechanical engineering and motor vehicle maintenance being taught in the college’s workshops, as well as cutting-edge creative technologies at work with computing students.

The Minister said: “It was fantastic to visit Uxbridge College and to meet the staff and students. They are doing some brilliant work to make sure people of all ages and backgrounds gain the skills they need to get a good job and career.

“We are transforming technical education in this country and T Levels are a once in a generation opportunity. I’m thrilled Uxbridge College will be offering our gold standard T Levels in Education and Digital from September 2020.

“I congratulate the college on their amazing work, and I look forward to hearing more about the progress they make."

Laraine Smith OBE, Principal of Uxbridge College, said: “Like Anne Milton our Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills, everyone at Uxbridge College is passionate about providing the best possible training and education to young people.

“We are proud to be involved in offering the new T Level qualifications and have also got our fingers crossed that our success so far in moving forward towards becoming an Institute of Technology will continue. We would like to say a big thank you to Anne for her visit and her obvious commitment to supporting further education.”

The forthcoming ‘T Level’ - Technical Level - qualifications are equivalent to 3 A Levels and will be launched nationally in 2020, with Uxbridge College offering Early Years Education and Digital programmes.

During the visit Anne met with Principal Laraine Smith and Vice Principal Darrell DeSouza to discuss key concerns around post-16 education, including creating the best quality opportunities for young people to learn technical and practical skills needed by employers.

For more photos from the visit go to:


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