August 2014

Local Heroes judging 2014 IMG 6811Pictured: The judges of the 2014 Hillingdon Local Heroes Awards make up their minds about the winners. left to right: Mayoress Lynne Kauffman, Mayor of Hillingdon Councillor Allan Kauffman, Principal of Uxbridge College Laraine Smith and Uxbridge Gazette News Editor Alan Hayes.

The judges’ decision is final – but that did not stop some lively debate as this year’s Gazette and Uxbridge College Hillingdon Local Heroes Awards winners were picked.

Now the judges' lips are sealed as tightly as the envelope in which the results are stored, ready for the gala awards night on 5 June at the College’s Hayes campus.

The Mayor and Mayoress of Hillingdon, Councillor Allan Kauffman and Mrs Lynne Kauffman, Principal of Uxbridge College Laraine Smith OBE, and the News Editor of the Gazette, Alan Hayes, closeted themselves to decide who should be named Superhero of Hillingdon for 2014, and take the £700 top prize.

Ms Smith said: “Every year Local Heroes highlights the work of people quietly doing amazing things across the borough and, so often, not expecting any reward or recognition. The competition gives them a chance to see themselves through the eyes of others as the champions they really are.

“I would like to thank everyone who entered their friends and family into the competition this year, and say how impressed we were with all the entrants, whether they have been chosen as winners or not.”

“We had to pick five Superheroes from the two categories of adult and child, each winning £200, five heroes who get a £50 prize and a number of Highly Commended nominees, from a large pot of excellent quality entries. Not easy!” said Alan Hayes.

The toughest part of the judging was deciding between, for example, a dedicated volunteer or a tenacious fundraiser.

“How do you say which one is better?”, asked the Mayor. “They are both so worthy of recognition, and we have had to make some really tough decisions today.”

For the Kauffmans it was a delightful second bite of the cherry: because of the local elections on 22 May, the Mayor’s term of office is extended by a few weeks, allowing him to sit as a Local Heroes judge two years in a row.

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Sci and Eng Week P1011053Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects at Uxbridge College will receive a £30,000 boost thanks to Nexen Petroleum UK Limited.

Nexen, which is based in Vine Street, Uxbridge and is a wholly owned subsidiary of CNOOC Ltd (China National Offshore Oil Corporation Limited), is donating the sum over the next two years. The company has also joined the College’s Employer Champion Scheme which supports students to gain work related skills and experience.

The money will be used for activities including running a Science & Engineering Club, supporting the College’s annual Science & Engineering Week, developing a STEM ambassador programme, and awarding bursaries to young people studying STEM subjects. During this year's Science & Engineering Week, Nexen's sponsorship helped fund a visit from Sir Isaac Newton aka David Hall (pictured).

Lorraine Collins, Executive Director – Enterprise and Development, at Uxbridge College said: “Uxbridge College is very pleased to receive this generous donation which highlights the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) in local, regional, national and international markets. We are delighted that Nexen has become our latest Employer Champion, helping our students to develop their skills and knowledge in a practical and creative way linked to their future careers. We look forward to Nexen staff having an active role in the College’s STEM activities.”

Archie Kennedy, Managing Director of Nexen Petroleum UK Ltd, said: “STEM subjects are incredibly important in preparing students for a number of vital roles at Nexen and the wider energy industry. In that sense this donation is an investment in our future as well as that of the students. We look forward to seeing how the College takes forward its programme to show students how interesting and useful STEM subjects can be as well as providing practical advice about the types of exciting careers they can lead to.”

The ambassador programme, a national initiative being run by STEMNET (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network) was launched for Uxbridge College in the Spring during Science & Engineering Week 2014. Around 20 students expressed an interest in the programme, which works to promote the subjects among young people. Science students from Uxbridge College joining the initiative will visit schools and other colleges to help promote STEM careers.

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IMG 6923Snow white, bad fairies, Harry Potter, zombies, Alice in Wonderland and Disney Princesses were among those taking part in A Night of Mystical Fantasy Encounters at Uxbridge College.

The event at Uxbridge College in Hayes was led by Hair and Beauty students with others on music, technical theatre and catering courses involved in providing light, sound and refreshments.

The night, sponsored by Dennis Williams and Goldwell, featured a series of performances which showcased skills students had learned on their courses in hair, make-up, music, sound and lighting, and catering and hospitality. It was attended by the students’ friends and family, some of whom also took part in the show.

Lisa Edwards, Hairdressing Lecturer, who along with Claudia Gardner helped organise the show, and who joined Debbie Nolan and Jo Withers as comperes, said: “With everything from the glamorous hair and make-up of princesses, to terrifying zombie wounds, to make-believe lions, there was plenty of scope for students to make the most of the creative and technical skills.

“There were some really stunning looks and superb performances by these students who ranged from pre-GCSE level hairdressers and beauty therapists to those studying at Level 3 which is equivalent to A levels.

“The participants showed a real level of professionalism during the weeks of preparations for the show and the event itself, and I would like to congratulate everyone involved.”

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LH 2014 gala night group JS38594960Pictured: Our Superheroes 2014 - (left to right) Scott and Margaret Dick; Laraine Smith OBE, Principal of Uxbridge College; Shenaz Mohamed; Stephanie Bayford (who also won the Superhero of Hillingdon prize); Noel, Nick Gore and Pete from Recycle-a-Bike; Lyn Hanlon and Alan Hayes, Gazette News Editor.

It was an inspirational and emotional night as Hillingdon's Local Heroes were recognised for their hard work, courage, dedication and selflessness.

Uxbridge College in Hayes played host to the annual Local Heroes Awards night on 5 June.

The twelfth annual awards, run by Uxbridge College in partnership with the Uxbridge Gazette, commended the unsung heroes of the borough who go the extra mile to help others, perhaps by volunteering, fundraising, providing extra support to family members, or helping their community.

The awards were split in two sections; under 18s and adults. There were three award categories in each; Highly Commended, Hero and Superhero. Superheroes received a trophy and £200, Heroes £50 prizes, and Highly Commended winners were presented with a certificate.

The overall winner, the Superhero of Hillingdon – 18-year-old Stephanie Bayford of Hillingdon - was chosen from the five Superheroes and received an additional £500. Stephanie set up and runs a group called 'Little Specials' for children with special needs or life-shortening illnesses and their families, funding everything from her wages at a special needs school.

Stephanie’s award was announced by Mayor of Hillingdon Councillor Allan Kauffman and his wife Lyn, who appeared in a pre-recorded video as they were unable to attend the night.

The awards were announced and presented in the campus theatre, part of the College's performing arts facilities, and a celebration reception held in Revisco restaurant. Food was made, cooked and served by professional cookery students in the restaurant, which is open to the public for lunch during term time.

Laraine Smith OBE, Principal of Uxbridge College, said: “This has been a terrific year for Local Heroes and has really underlined the importance of family and community in Hillingdon. Here we see so many people helping and supporting others in so many ways, and it has been wonderful to bring them under one roof and celebrate what they do. It’s been a real privilege to be part of this competition yet again.”

Alan Hayes, News Editor of the Uxbridge Gazette series, said: "Once again, our readers delivered a worthy set of Local Heroes Awards finalists, making the judges' job very difficult indeed.

"After a life-affirming and heart-warming night on Thursday last week at Uxbridge College in Hayes, I think their decisions were justified: our Heroes, Superheroes and ultimate Superhero of Hillingdon met everyone's approval and showed once again that we have some amazing people quietly getting on with doing some amazing things in this community, and I'd like to salute them all."

For more coverage and photos of the event go to

Stephanie Bayford

SUPERHERO: Stephanie Bayford

HERO: Casey Burke

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Alexander and Daniel Bisland

SUPERHEROES: Scott and Margaret Dick, Lyn Hanlon, Shenaz Mahomed, Recycle-a-Bike

HEROES: Ken & Gill Anstiss, Dot Bryant, John Davies, Friends of Eastcote House Gardens, Ann Greenaway, Alia Jones, Matt Martin, Jagjit 'Marathon' Singh, Tejinder Singh Soor,

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Caroline Earley, Lynn Galvin, Doreen McIntyre, Andrew Riley, Ann Sargent, Specialist Care Services, George Tomlin, Alison Vaughan, Phyllis Robinson.

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Dance Show 2014 012The best of dance, music, fashion, animation, games design, graphic design, film and art at Uxbridge College was showcased during this year’s Creative Week, dubbed the ‘Invasion Exhibition’.

The annual event brings together students from across the College in a series of exhibitions and shows.

Many of the creative students are going on to study at degree level including at London College of Fashion, and the Universities of Greenwich and Bournemouth.

Events included a fashion show with clothes and accessories designed by the students modelled on the catwalk. The dance show, at Uxbridge College in Hayes, included originally-choreographed ballet, tap, rock and roll, commercial and street dance, as well as performances from the musicals Annie, Chicago and The Lion King.

A range of art works including photography, installation, montage and sculpture were exhibited, and media students were honoured for their work at an awards night where their films were also shown. Creative work by computer games designers, such as animated environments (imaginary worlds) and characters for computer games, was also on show.

Nicola Holmes, Head of Creative Studies at Uxbridge College said: “It’s been an impressive year across all the creative subjects, with students showing an extremely high level of professionalism. We have seen some terrific work this year including some beautiful tailoring and design on the catwalk, inspiring animation from games designers, industry-standard logo design, and some really original mixed-media artworks to name but a few. Congratulations to everyone involved in making this such a success.”

The fashion show was attended by the Mayor of Hillingdon Councillor Catherine Dann and the Mayoress Mrs Rita Kilroy, in one of their first functions since being elected to office earlier this month.

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Max the Cash 2014 with cheque P1011863Pictured in the garden at Michael Sobell Hospice: Melissa Bridge, Travel and Tourism lecturer; students Chloe Cody and Leah Kiss; Sharon McCann, Volunteering and Citizenship Co-ordinator at Uxbridge College; Geraint Hughes, Corporate and Trusts Fundraising Manager Michael Sobell Hospice; Carol Weston, Nurse Team Manager at Michael Sobell Hospice; Jackie Bowden from Basepoint; student Thuraiya Hadji, & Eva Christodoulou, Basepoint Centre Manager.

Students who helped raise a total of £1,074 to support people with life-limiting illnesses presented the money to staff at Michael Sobell Hospice.

The three students were members of one of 15 ‘Max the Cash’ teams from Uxbridge College who set up fundraising businesses supported by sponsorship funds of £750 kindly donated by Basepoint Business Centres, which also match funded the profits. Basepoint provides flexible workspace at locations around the country, including Field End Road, Eastcote.

Travel and Tourism students Leah Kiss, Thuraiya Hadji and Chloe Cody raised money through activities including car washing and selling ice cream and raised the highest amount out of all the teams – around £250.

The money will support the work of Michael Sobell Hospice at Mount Vernon Hospital, Northwood, which provides end of life care for the local community. The students visited the hospice to present the cheque, along with their tutor Melissa Bridge and Uxbridge College’s Volunteering and Citizenship Co-ordinator Sharon McCann, and Basepoint’s Eva Christodoulou and Jackie Bowden.

Geraint Hughes in the hospice’s Fundraising team, said: “We are so pleased that Uxbridge College students have again employed their energies on our behalf with Basepoint Eastcote’s financial backing for their enterprise. This is a fine example of how different sectors of the local community can come together and produce such a positive outcome and a helpful boost to our fundraising.”

Eva Christodoulou from Basepoint said: “All the students should be proud of their success. Basepoint are extremely happy to be match funding their total money raised, with their ‘Max the Cash’ scheme. Sobell House is a wonderful hospice; it gives us great pleasure to be involved with the charity and help raise donations. Well done to all the students at Uxbridge College, for all their hard work and enthusiasm.”

Sharon McCann said: “All the students involved did a fantastic job coming up with ideas, running sales and events and supporting this very valuable charity. It was particularly impressive to see how Leah, Thuraiya and Chloe used their creativity, motivation and skills to raise the highest amount from each of the teams. Uxbridge College runs a very varied range of community-based activities and continues to welcome new organisations to work in partnership.”

This is the second year that Uxbridge College and Michael Sobell Hospice have been partners in the Max the Cash challenge, this year kindly supported by Basepoint.

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Jack Petchy Award IMG 6827Pictured: Demi Phillips (centre, wearing stripes) was awarded a Jack Petchy Award for her outstanding performance as an individual and a team member. She is pictured with her tutor Anisa Kazmi (left of certificate) and her class.

A childcare student who has inspired her classmates has been chosen to receive a Jack Petchey Award.

Demi Phillips, age 16, who has mild cerebral palsy, has gone from strength to strength academically and personally, and is considered a lynchpin of the group by her peers.

She was presented with a certificate and won £200 to be spent on something which will benefit the College. Nominees for the Jack Petchey awards at Uxbridge College, funded by the Jack Petchey Foundation as part of a national scheme, are elected by their peers and then chosen by the Student Council.

Demi said: “I knew I had been nominated but I didn’t think anything would come of it. I’m really surprised to be chosen and really happy too - it is nice to have recognition and feel people are proud of me. I love my course and I am so passionate about it, a few years ago at school I wasn’t that focussed or that interested in learning, and I could never have imagined being where I am now. Now I feel like I have got so much to look forward to.”

Anisa Kazmi, Demi’s tutor, said: “Demi is an asset to the group, and involves everybody around her in any task. To say thank you for her nomination Demi would like the £200 prize to be spent on a meal for her group and tutor.”

The nomination by her classmates recognised Demi’s part in keeping her group on task, her enthusiasm, and her commitment to achieving even with some additional challenges resulting from having cerebral palsy. She also created a business plan to fundraise for Great Ormond Street Hospital and hopes to put this into practice at some stage.

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Ruben Sewkumar IMG 6832

A student has found confidence and a route to self-expression on his music course at Uxbridge College.

Ruben Sewkumar says his stammer, which he has had for as long as he can remember, has sometimes made it hard for him to communicate – but rapping has helped him find his niche. He has written and recorded his own tracks and can perform without completely stammering, which is not possible for him when he speaks.

Ruben said: “Rap has helped me a lot. When I rap I don’t stammer at all and that’s a pretty amazing experience. It’s one way I can express how I am feeling when that doesn’t always feel possible. When I express myself and say what I want to say, it’s like a release.”

He says he has also found a supportive environment at college where he can be himself. For instance, people who stammer sometimes need more time to say what they need to say, and if others understand he needs more time, it makes communication easier.

He said: “I get on with everyone here, teachers and the other students are supportive and understanding. Being at college suits me better than school - I have got more of a social life and I’m really enjoying myself. It’s a nice place to be and a nice environment. Talking is still hard but it helps if people understand. I may take longer to say what I have to say, but I may still have something to say.”

Music lecturer Ray Griffin said: “We are really pleased with how well Ruben has done this year and we look forward to seeing what he will produce in the way of original material next year.”

Ruben has learned various techniques to help him deal with having a stammer, including at the Michael Palin Centre which provides therapies for young people and adults. He still feels less confident about speaking than he would like to and hopes he will find ways to change this.

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Harlington Hospice cheque P1012167Pictured: (L-R) Student Divya Bajaj; Kathryn Underwood, Harlington Hospice's Office Manager; Enkema Futsum, Festival Organiser; Steve Curry, CEO of Harlington Hospice; Lorraine Collins, Executive Director - Enterprise & Development at Uxbridge College and student Isra Iqbal.

A school reunion and a community festival held at Uxbridge College in Hayes netted nearly £300 for Harlington Hospice.

The money was raised through a combination of donations from the Townfield Reunion, and events at the Hayes Summer Festival. The campus is built around the former Townfield School buildings, so old pupils gathered there to revisit their old classrooms and reminisce. They also enjoyed traditional school meals provided by the College’s catering and hospitality students.

The festival for adults and children, supported by a grant from Heathrow Community Fund, offered a range of activities including face painting, bric-a-brac and cake sales, games, sport, and a design-your-own-t-shirt workshop. Music was also provided by the Schools’ Community Choir Hayes and College students on courses including hairdressing, beauty therapy, childcare, and sport took part in running activities.

Childcare students Divya Bajaj (19) and Isra Iqbal (19) met Harlington Hospice’s Office Manager Kathryn Underwood and CEO Steve Curry to present the donation.

Lorraine Collins, Executive Director Enterprise & Development at Uxbridge College, said: “These two very successful events and the money raised show what an important part of the community Uxbridge College in Hayes is. Both these events offered something unique to the people who attended them, as well as supporting Harlington Hospice and enabling students to showcase their skills to a new audience. We plan to work more closely with Harlington Hospice both to support their fundraising and to continue engaging our students in volunteer activities.”

Steve Curry, CEO of Harlington Hospice, said: “We were delighted to receive this donation and really touched that the students chose Harlington Hospice to receive the money they raised. One of our current projects is to make it possible for more people to use our services, and this money will be very helpful in supporting this work.”

Enkema Futsum, who managed the festival as part of her apprenticeship in Business Administration at Uxbridge College, said: “It was lovely to see so many members of our local community getting involved in fun activities at Uxbridge College in Hayes, and it also gave them a chance to find out more about what we have to offer. Thanks to the festival, the reunion and the support of Heathrow Community Fund, we are fortunate to be able to make this donation to Harlington Hospice.”

The money, a total of £280, will go towards funding care and support for people at the end of their lives, and families experiencing bereavement and loss.

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Ecollegey logo with slogan in colour with boxUxbridge College has been recognised in the national Green Gown Awards for its commitment to the environment.

The College is a finalist in the ‘Best Newcomer’ category in the awards, which are run by The Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC). The Green Gown Awards recognise exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities, colleges and the learning and skills sectors across the UK. The College, nominated for its ‘E-Collegey’ initiative, now goes through to Stage 2 of the competition when the final winners will be selected.

E-Collegey was launched at Uxbridge College in 2012 to boost participation in green activities and encourage awareness of sustainability issues. The initiative has covered a range of activities for staff and students, including a student competition to choose a name for it and design a logo. Campaigns were run to encourage staff and students to recycle more materials and switch off lights and computers, a photographic competition was held on a green theme, and a fashion show staged using recycled materials. Teaching about sustainable technologies and practices has been included in the curriculum wherever possible, a car-sharing and cycle purchase scheme set up for staff, a bike workshop held, and an ecology area created on campus. The College has also invested in cutting carbon emissions and saving money by maximising the use of sustainable materials, systems and practices in campus building and improvement projects.

Sara Sands, Vice Principal Finance & Corporate Services, said: “Uxbridge College is delighted to have been shortlisted in the Green Gown Awards in recognition of our efforts to be as environmentally responsible as we can. E-Collegey has made a real difference, increasing recycling and cutting energy use both on and off campus, and helping students create sustainable habits which can make a huge difference across their lifetimes.”

Iain Patton, Chief Executive of the EAUC, said: “It is fantastic to see more institutions than ever being finalists – the strength and quality of applications is truly inspiring. The breadth of activity within the sector shows that sustainability really does bring positive impacts, both on the institution, their staff and students and the wider community. These finalists are proof that where institutions take sustainability seriously they are reaping the benefits.”

Stage one applications for the Awards closed in June and a judging panel chose a list of finalists who are now asked to submit their Stage 2 applications with a deadline in September. The winners of the Green Gown Awards 2014 will be announced at the Green Gown Awards’ Ceremony to be held at Whitworth Hall, The University of Manchester on Monday 3 November 2014.

In its 10 year history the Green Gown Awards has recognised 93 winners, 130 highly commended, 553 finalists and 1,412 applicants. This year the competition has attracted 180 applications across 14 categories.

EAUC is a not-for-profit charity with a membership of over 220 universities and colleges, supporting sustainability within the UK tertiary education sector.

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