Keighley College welcomes new principal

Our Interim Principal Kevin O’Hare has been appointed as the new Principal of Keighley College.

Kevin took over from the college’s former Principal, Steve Kelly in December last year.

As interim Principal for the last four months, Kevin has made a positive impact in building relationships with both students and staff, which has contributed to, and is enhancing the college’s culture and presence in the community.

He has also played a key role in the college’s recent successes, such as hosting Keighley’s first ever TedX event. There has also been significant progress across the education institution’s A level, special educational needs and disability (SEND) and high needs provisions.

Kevin said: “What a brilliant four months I’ve had at Keighley College. I’m so pleased that I can continue on this positive journey with students, staff and the local community.

“I’ve been incredibly impressed with the aspirations of our young people at college. They have both embraced and made me feel welcome. It’s clear that our students have huge potential and I’m looking forward to leading the Keighley team to help deliver the best learning outcomes for them.

“I look forward to driving our culture of providing exceptional, responsive and life-changing education, skills and experiences for individuals, businesses and communities. This means ensuring that students gain the necessary skills and knowledge to progress to the next level, be it higher education, an apprenticeship or employment.”

Kevin has worked in the FE sector for 29 years. During this period, he has undertaken roles at every level of the curriculum. He has taught from entry to degree level, and has led, written and quality assured programmes across vocational, academic and apprenticeship programmes.

He joined Leeds City College, which is part of Luminate Education Group, in 1992 when there were limited options for creative learners in Leeds. With a small number of learners he helped establish a programme which has grown to include 850 learners over a range of subject areas.

He has an outstanding track record as a leader in education with a particular interest in Creative Arts and Digital programmes; his previous role was Head of Visual and Digital Arts at Leeds City College’s Quarry Hill campus.

Kevin sits on a number of professional boards and governing bodies, including as a Director of East Street Arts, and has worked with local organisations such as Games Republic, The Tetley, and Leeds Playhouse.

Students offer a helping hand to support Ukraine refugees

Students studying English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), Public Services and Joinery, have provided their support for Ukraine refugees at a local community hub, The Good Shepherd Centre.

The centre has been working hard to collect items which are urgently needed for refugees, who are seeking asylum in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Moldova and Romania.

The learners have been helping to sort out the donations, including toiletries, first aid items, activity packs and sleeping equipment. These items will be transported to churches and other charities on the Polish border. 

The important work being done at The Good Shepherd Centre appeared on ITV Calendar News, where the learners spoke about the necessity of supporting those less fortunate than us.

Find out how you can help the centre here or by contacting them on 07756409246 or tgsc.keighley@gmail.com

Keighley College partners with Keighley Cougars to inspire next generation of rugby players

Keighley College, a member of Luminate Education Group, has joined forces with local rugby league team, Keighley Cougars, to give young people an introduction to life as a professional rugby league player.

The partnership will see the college supporting Keighley Cougars’ innovative new Elite Talent Pathway; a performance programme aimed at young males aged 11 to 16. They will get the chance to train in an environment with professional support, learning and improving skills which they can take back to their local community clubs. The programme will aim to operate three development squads being U/12’s, U/14’s and U/16’s. Each team will get the opportunity to play matches against other teams from professional clubs.

Focused on supporting the development of young players and creating a performance pathway, the programme enables members of the community to gain access to professional rugby league coaching encompassing skills assessments, progress reports and education based on nutrition and lifestyle choices. 

Claire Fitzgerald, Head of Stakeholder Engagement and Growth at Keighley College, said: “We pride ourselves on being a community-led college, so partnering with a historically renowned club which inspires many local young people is a phenomenal opportunity. We’ll be working collaboratively on community projects, while proudly sponsoring the playing and training kits.

“Keighley is a town bursting with talented young individuals, and we’re determined to help fuel their ambitions to become skilled rugby players. In the coming years, we hope to work closely with Keighley Cougars in setting up a development academy, whereby young people aged 16 to 19 years old can develop their rugby skills.”

Andrew Henderson, Head of Rugby at Keighley Cougars, added: “Keighley College shares our vision for providing better opportunities for young people in Keighley, which is why we’re thrilled to have them on board as our major sponsor. We hope to not only support players in their journey to becoming professional players, but also provide them with the best educational opportunities alongside this which can be offered at the college.

“We’re determined to inspire the wider community through this initiative, as our players will take a wealth of knowledge and performance skills back to their local teams. Next year, our goal is to extend our programme to girls in the area.”

The programme will be launching officially in Spring 2022.

Keighley College champions community spirit through free haircuts

Keighley College is providing a lifeline to the local community by offering free haircuts and manicures for unemployed individuals who have upcoming interviews.

Aspiring student hairdressers and barbers will be providing the service until the end of June, in a bid to support locals in boosting their confidence before attending an interview.

Ashleigh Taleb, Salon Technician at Keighley College, said: “We’re dedicated to going to great lengths to empower our community to achieve great things. We appreciate how difficult the pandemic has been, resulting in many being furloughed and unemployed. Our professional Hair and Beauty Level 2 and 3 students will be on hand to lift community spirit by cutting hair and offering manicures.”

To book an appointment, individuals who live locally can visit or call the salon on 01535 685 030 or send a message through Facebook or Instagram. Anyone receiving a free haircut or manicure will need to bring along an offer email or letter for the interview.

The salon will be operating in line with Covid-19 guidelines, including wearing face coverings and using sanitising stations.

Students clean up in the community

Twelve Public Services students have been making a difference in the community by taking part in the One Hour Tidy project.

As part of the Kinder Colleges initiative, students are encouraged to become more active within the community and be kinder to the planet. 

The students worked alongside Keighley Big Local’s Shaun O’Hare, a council community warden and a local environmentalist to collect litter from around the college and along Dalton Lane.

Set up by Keighley College tutor, Mark Hargreaves, in collaboration with the Keighley Big Local, the project is a contribution to the national programme, the Great British Spring Clean.

As a result of the project, the students collected 16 refuse bags of litter, an old tyre and a fire extinguisher.

Mark organised the project in a bid to raise awareness of environmental issues amongst students.

“As aspiring public servants, our students can learn a great amount from working with members of the community. Projects like these give our students vital real-life teamwork and communication experience, which will also help them to complete their qualifications. 

“Keighley College strives to be a positive force for change within the community, therefore we have a duty to the environment and showcasing the importance of this to students. The feedback from the students was fantastic – they all really enjoyed the activity and learnt valuable communication skills.”

The college is planning many upcoming community projects, including planning a walking route for the Worth Valley Walking Festival, which is designed to raise environmental, physical and mental health awareness in the area.

“We will also be involved in some tree planning with the Environment Agency as part of the biomimetic flood reduction initiatives in the Aire Valley.”

Take a look at the Public Services courses here.

Students are lifeline for those receiving care in the community

Five students from Keighley College have been providing tailored support to members of the community during the pandemic, as part of their health and social care work placement.

Taking on the role of complex care support workers, the students have been working part-time at community-centered organisation, Personalized Care Services, to support individuals with complex health and social care needs.

With the aim to help individuals live independently in their own homes, the students have been working throughout the pandemic to assist members of the community with medication, dietary needs, dementia care, companionship and respite for families with care responsibilities. 

Mazar Hussain, Managing Director of Personalized Care Services, said: “Each student has performed exceptionally well in their role, especially during these challenging times. The pandemic has had a significant impact on our services; we’ve all worked incredibly hard to keep people safe in their homes and ensure they have their personal care needs met. 

“Three students who completed the Health and Social Care Level 3 Diploma have continued to work part-time with us; it’s incredible to see how well their skills and knowledge have developed and the level of care they are providing is impeccable.”

Founded in 2019, Personalized Care Services was set up to support people in the community with their care needs in a flexible manner, allowing individuals to choose the support which best suits their needs. Offering 24-hour support to those who have experienced difficulties settling into a community-based environment in the past, the service enables people to live active lives. 

Rohima Ali, course leader at Keighley College, commented: “As a community-focused college, we’re dedicated to supporting local people as much as possible. It’s inspiring to see how quickly our students have developed admirable qualities and abilities through invaluable character-building real-life experience.”

The 38-strong team provides a wide range of support including domestic support, mental wellbeing, supported employment, learning disabilities, independent living and adult learning.

Keighley College student, Ghalia Fiaz, who works at Personalized Care Services, added: “This hands-on opportunity has been so valuable to my learning and development. It has not only highlighted the importance of this sector during the pandemic, but also allowed me to help empower individuals by providing them with the confidence to become part of their community.”

Personalized Care Services will be working closely with Keighley College to develop its curriculum, with a focus on employer and community needs. 

Keighley College launches Skills Support Hub to aid economic recovery

Keighley College is becoming a central driver for economic recovery in the district, by partnering with local support services to help adults and young people back into work.

The college has launched the Skills Support Hub, a community initiative to signpost those who have been made redundant, furloughed or unemployed to appropriate organisations for upskilling, career advice and building confidence.  

Working with Bradford Council, SkillsHouse, the DWP and local employers, alongside funding from the European Social Fund, Keighley College’s team of experts will identify the needs of each individual and create a talent pool that matches people to relevant employers. 

Steve Kelly, Principal at Keighley College, said: “We’re committed to supporting as many people as possible in our community at such a challenging time. The hub will be based in a Covid-safe environment at Keighley College, where we can identify individuals’ training needs that we can address or signpost to a relevant organisation.

“Our aim is to reach those who have been the hardest hit in the district and encourage them to get back on their feet. We’ll be working with a range of employers such as Platinum Stairlifts and Metalcraft to understand their skills needs, allowing us to provide the best skills support and opportunities for the community.”

Councillor Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s portfolio holder for education, employment and skills, said: “It is important news for Keighley, and the wider district, that this new support hub has been set up and we are pleased to be a partner. Covid-19 has had an awful impact on jobs but we are determined to do all we can to help people get the skills, training and support they need to access new opportunities.”

Residents in the Keighley district can access the support hub by emailing skills@keighleycollege.ac.uk, calling 01535 685006 or dropping in to college. 

Keighley College goes to great lengths to support the community

Keighley College is offering free haircuts to those who live locally as part of its commitment to the community. 

The Hairdressing department is opening the doors of its socially-distanced salon for its free service. The initiative aims to support people within the community who may be struggling financially and helps people to feel confident during unprecedented times. 

Caroline McGreavy, Apprenticeship Assessor Coach at Keighley College, said: “The students providing the haircuts are studying a new Barbering Diploma Level 2 course at college, giving them the perfect opportunity to build their local clientele. They have all found this an enriching experience where they can practise their skills while engaging with the community.

“At a time where many people are struggling, we feel it’s important to give back to the community. Whether people are attending a job interview or just want to feel good about themselves, our friendly team of students are on hand to help out. The feedback so far has been outstanding; being able to boost people’s confidence gives the students an immense sense of pride.”

The salon has many safety measures in place, including socially distanced seats and the use of face visors, masks, disposable aprons and gloves. To book an appointment, call 01535 685030 and select a time slot. 

Students clean up in the community

Twelve Public Services students have been making a difference in the community by taking part in the One Hour Tidy project.

As part of the Kinder Colleges initiative, students are encouraged to become more active within the community and be kinder to the planet. 

The students worked alongside Keighley Big Local’s Shaun O’Hare, a council community warden and a local environmentalist to collect litter from around the college and along Dalton Lane.

Set up by Keighley College tutor, Mark Hargreaves, in collaboration with the Keighley Big Local, the project is a contribution to the national programme, the Great British Spring Clean.

As a result of the project, the students collected 16 refuse bags of litter, an old tyre and a fire extinguisher.

Mark organised the project in a bid to raise awareness of environmental issues amongst students.

“As aspiring public servants, our students can learn a great amount from working with members of the community. Projects like these give our students vital real-life teamwork and communication experience, which will also help them to complete their qualifications. 

“Keighley College strives to be a positive force for change within the community, therefore we have a duty to the environment and showcasing the importance of this to students. The feedback from the students was fantastic – they all really enjoyed the activity and learnt valuable communication skills.”

The college is planning many upcoming community projects, including planning a walking route for the Worth Valley Walking Festival, which is designed to raise environmental, physical and mental health awareness in the area.

“We will also be involved in some tree planning with the Environment Agency as part of the biomimetic flood reduction initiatives in the Aire Valley.”

Take a look at the Public Services courses here.

Students clean up in the community