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Richard Taylor with photo IMG 9120A powerful talk by Damilola Taylor’s father Richard on the tragic consequences of knife crime was part of a hard-hitting awareness week held at Uxbridge College in response to the Mayor of London’s ‘London Needs You Alive’ campaign.

Richard (pictured giving his talk to Uxbridge College students) began campaigning to combat violence amongst young people after his 10-year-old son was tragically killed in Peckham in 2000. He spoke to students about the personal and community impact of Damilola’s untimely death.

Richard’s charity, the Damilola Taylor Trust, is committed to supporting young people to lead safe and healthy lives, and to reach high to fulfil their potential. A donation was made to the charity through student fundraising.

Richard’s talk was attended by around 500 learners, with another 1,000 watching on live stream. The event was one of a number held during the awareness week at College, which also included a first aid workshop from the charity StreetDoctors, and a range of other talks, workshops, exhibitions and tutorials. The week was inspired by Sadiq Khan’s campaign to educate young people about the risks of knife crime.

Liam Plumridge, Course Team Leader for Employability, Progress and Review, who organised the event as part of his work supporting tutorials and student development activities said: “This series of events gave our students an important insight into what are unfortunately becoming increasingly serious issues for all young people, not just in London but all over the country and worldwide. It is a top priority at Uxbridge College to do everything we can to help our learners to stay safe and make well-informed decisions in every area of their lives, and I have no doubt that this week of events will support them in doing so.”

This Girl Can 2018 Kat group P1070246Ex-England rugby player Kat Merchant and former Uxbridge College student and Millwall Lionesses player Rianna Dean inspired girls from west London schools as part of This Girl Can 2018.

The visits by the World Cup rugby winner and Lionesses footballer backed the national campaign to encourage more women to take part in sport and physical activity.

Ex-England rugby player Kat Merchant (pictured with the girls) gave an inspirational talk and training session to girls from west London schools to mark the This Girl Can 2018 campaign at Uxbridge College, organised by Eloise Newman, Course Team Leader and Sports Lecturer. Kat shared her triumphs and challenges with the group, as well as talking to Uxbridge College students. Starting her sporting career as a gymnast before transitioning into rugby, Kat found the strength and skillset developed in gymnastics helped her to progress quickly in the sport and was invited to England trials early on. She was unsuccessful in her first attempt at selection but used this to motivate herself to succeed further.

She told the girls: “I’m really pleased to be here as part of the This Girl Can campaign, it’s such an important campaign. You girls, you can do anything you want to, any sport you set your sights on go for it and don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t, because you can. Find your thing and go for it.”

Kat earned her first international cap during the 2005 Six Nations, and after several unfortunate injuries she worked hard to once again represent her country at the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens; 2010, 2014 Women's Rugby World Cups and coached a Women's rugby team from Sri Lanka in 2015. Overall she earned 58 caps, scored 44 tries and was part of the World Cup winning team in 2014. Now she is working hard to grow her own successful personal training business and coaches Chesham Stags RFC Men’s teams.

There was also a talk by former Uxbridge College Sports student and international footballer Rianna Dean, now with Millwall Lionnesses, having previously played for Arsenal Ladies.

Rianna spoke about how education played a big part in her achievements and highlighted how Uxbridge College allowed her to study and train at the same time, working with her to help her meet her deadlines. She emphasised to the girls, “It was only right that I gave my lecturers the same respect back, by putting in the hard work and producing good quality work. You can do that in your life too, you are in control of the hard work you put in to whatever you do.”

Martina Ashton, Section Manager for Sport at Uxbridge College, said: “It was brilliant to have Kat Merchant and Rianna Dean here for Uxbridge College’s annual This Girl Can event and just as good to see the girls from a total of seven West London schools learning new skills and gaining inspiration. Many of them knew very little about rugby, so it was a great chance for them to try out some basic skills, and also get a flavour about how success at the highest level is simply about hard work and commitment.”

Uxbridge College’s This Girl Can event also involved Zuu training - a style of training using movements from the animal kingdom - as well as pilates, boxing, handball, netball and an educational workshop focusing around sports development and the different career opportunities available to the girls in the sports and leisure industry.

Schools taking part in the event were: The Harefield Academy; Dormers Wells High School; Nower Hill High School; Ruislip High School; Haydon School; Wembley High Technology College; Vyners School.

For more pictures from the day go to https://www.facebook.com/pg/uxbridgecollege/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10155945961970283

Capture 11 copy v2Art & Design students from Uxbridge College have been exhibiting their original works of art at the Hyatt Place West London/Hayes at an exclusive event.

The eclectic Capture exhibition launched with a successful Private View and was then opened to the public. The work was specially created for the event.

The multi-discipline exhibition included fine art, sculpture, animation, illustration, photography, architectural design, graphic design and designs for interiors.

Inspiration came from a range of sources among which were Southall's Asian culture, the old and new of Hayes and Southall, and the rich history of manufacture in Hayes.

Students also designed invitations, flyers, posters and logos and ran a social media campaign to promote the event.

Dominik Strobel, General Manager at Hyatt Place West London/Hayes said: “With our Hyatt Thrive platform, Hyatt is committed to serve the people, the environment and the community and we are absolutely thrilled to have partnered up with Uxbridge College on this special occasion. The students did an incredible job finding their inspiration and interesting facts about our local area for both Hayes and Southall. We are pleased to have supported their talent and developed new skills such as working towards a deadline, organizing a public event and executing art project on specific theme/topic. We see some very talented aspiring artists and wish all great success in the future.”

Student Iona Adhar, who photographed the artists at work and managed the social media campaign, as well as creating her own work for the exhibition, said: "Although not without its challenges, my classmates and I have produced some incredible pieces relating to the local area and have all experienced an insight into the working world of exhibiting artwork. We are truly grateful for this opportunity"

David Storer, Course Team Leader for Art & Design, said: “This collaboration between our students and the team at Hyatt Place West London/Hayes was a fantastic opportunity for the students to experience the working life of being a practicing, exhibiting artist. The exhibition, which was created, curated and run by the students themselves as part of work experience for their course reflected the high quality of work, creative individuality and engaged personal enquiry our course here at Uxbridge aims to instil in its learners.”

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