Community Links

We’re more than just a college…

Committed to putting learners on the path to success and playing a key role in helping to reach higher education, increase employability and achieve their individual potential, Mid Cheshire College creates value in many ways. However this is not achieved through courses and qualifications alone. We play a key role in providing opportunities that bring about both economic and social benefits to the area.

Whether it’s with employers and businesses, schools, volunteer groups, local societies or government agencies, we strongly believe that working in partnership with others brings benefits for all.

Community Partnerships & Charitable Franchising

At Mid Cheshire College, we have a prudent approach to charitable franchising and make sure that we only work with those that we feel will offer our students the greatest return. Partnerships such

as the ones that we have formed with The Prince’s Trust and the Cheshire Football Association have gone above and beyond our expectations, widening participation and promoting lifelong learning in the community and workplace.

The Prince’s Trust Programme in collaboration with Cheshire Fire & Rescue Services

The programme is designed to help young people develop new skills, build confidence and most importantly, have fun. We entered into a partnership working agreement with Cheshire Fire & Rescue to pilot the delivery of a Prince’s Trust programme in the Northwich area. The pilot, launched in 2013, was aimed at young people who were not in education, employment or training (NEETs). The project was a huge success and funds have since been provided for a total of three teams for 2014.

Waitrose and Jobcentre Plus

Having previously completed a successful project with Morrisons, Mid Cheshire College teamed up with Waitrose and Jobcentre Plus to run a two week, sector-based, Work Academy for 34 local people who were interested in applying for a position at the new Waitrose store in Northwich. Delivered and supported by College staff, each learner completing the course was guaranteed an interview with Waitrose, as well as learning some fantastic techniques and information along the way. This resulted in 25 learners being offered employment.

Cheshire Football Association

Mid Cheshire College works in partnership with the Cheshire FA to deliver a range of football coaching and development programmes, delivered throughout the Cheshire and Warrington area. In one year alone over 200 learners gained coaching qualifications.

We have worked closely with Cheshire FA on a number of projects including PAN Disability Football Festivals. These comprise teams of footballers with differing impairments, playing together. Not only have we participated in a number of festivals, we have also hosted one with great success.

New links with Chester Football Club will ensure our football development learners will have the opportunity to train with the professionals.

BACK TO THE FUTURE

Primary College

For the past three years, the Student Recruitment Unit at Mid Cheshire College has been engaging with local primary schools, organizing various student ‘experiences’ for year 5 and 6 pupils. Introducing children to the College at this age not only helps to raise educational aspirations in the local area, but also positions Mid Cheshire College as a natural, plausible and progressive route for pupils leaving high school.

In 2014, 21 primary schools took part in the initiative, engaging in fun and exciting activities, including;catering,beautytherapy,art&design,carpentry&joinery,engineering and performing arts, with some lucky pupils even being given the opportunity to produce a song in the College’s own recording studio.

High School

At Mid Cheshire College, we appreciate the tough decisions that pupils face when considering how to further their education and maximize their potential in their career. With this in mind, we offer high school pupils impartial advice and guidance, from our experienced Transition Co-ordinators and Advice & Guidance Team, through school assemblies, presentations and numerous College Open Evenings throughout term time.

The College offers Year 10 Taster Days to groups of students from high schools such as; Hartford Church of England High, UCAN, Middlewich High and The County High School Leftwich. Students attend College for a day and experience College life, as well as a taste of the wide range of vocational courses on offer, such as; sport, public services, art & design, games design, engineering and ICT. The Taster Days follow a theme such as ‘spiritual, moral, social and cultural awareness’ and include workshops in; beauty, music, dance, drama, graphics, ceramics, fashion and sport. Over 600 pupils enjoy the activities each year.

Our economic impact

Since 2007, Mid Cheshire College has invested over £21m in

improving our estates in Winsford and Hartford. This has involved three major construction projects, each not only having a hugely positive impact on the level of learning and development that we can offer our students, but also providing work for businesses in the area. These include:

The development of a new Art & Design facility at the Hartford campus in 2008 (£3.5m investment).

The construction of a brand new campus in Winsford in 2010 (£9.6m investment).

The building of a new Centre for Creative Arts & Sport at Hartford in 2012 (£7.5m investment).

The two most recent projects were both developed by a local construction company, predominantly using labour and sub-contractors from the local area. The College was also able to secure work placements for Construction students on these projects, adding to the experience for all involved.

At Mid Cheshire College, we promote regional economic growth through our own operational spend. This is shown through the increase in productivity as former MCC learners remain in the local workforce. It has also been calculated that the regional income of Cheshire and Warrington would be substantially lower without the educational activities of Mid Cheshire College. These figures include a 14.1% return on investment for learners, 13.3% return for the Taxpayer and 15.1% return for society as a whole.

A space for our community to call home

A wide cross-section of community groups now has access to the outstanding facilities at Mid Cheshire College. Our doors are always open to anything that engages the community in a positive way and provides space for activities that may otherwise not be able to go ahead.

The College is also able to regularly provide facilities for the National Blood Donor Service, business start up advice providers, such as Blue Orchid, as well as the local Northwich & District Heritage Society, who are able to use the College for their monthly events.

New Sports Hall & Theatre

In September 2012, the College opened the doors to a sensational new Centre for Creative Arts & Sports, which features a four-court sports hall and fitness centre as well as a state of the art theatre that can seat up to 200 people. From junior football clubs, boxing classes and dance groups to fundraising events, TV production companies and the sensational Cheshire Youth Orchestra, which has conducted its weekly rehearsals at the College for over 15 years, the opportunities are endless.

Listening, growing and feeding the community

From community gardens to providing a home for the local radio station at Mid Cheshire College, we do everything in our power to maximise our students learning experience, whilst at the same time being able to give back to the community that we live in.

Mid Cheshire Radio

The College is thrilled that the community’s favourite radio station, Mid Cheshire Radio, went live in January 2014 from their new home at the College’s Hartford Campus, cementing the College’s position as one of the most progressive in the North West.

Karen Burns from Mid Cheshire Radio comments: “The facilities at Mid

Cheshire College are second to none, providing the perfect environment

for us to launch ourselves deeper into the community, whilst at the

same time providing students with an opportunity to learn and express themselves in a creative environment. We believe that as partners we can connect with our community better than ever before, whilst creating greater community projects and giving back to those that support us so well.”

The Novel Bite Café at Winsford Library

The community café opened in March 2014 in partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council and is staffed by Foundation Learning Students and College tutors. Mid Cheshire College students were involved at every stage of the cafe’s development, from the paint on the walls to the design of the inspirational logo. The café is situated on the first floor of the library in Winsford High Street and offers light bites and special lunches. It is open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9.30am – 3.30pm.

The Fringe Festival & Christmas Street Festival, Winsford

‘On The Fringe’ is a local festival of theatre and arts held over three days in Winsford. The College and our students were more than excited to be part of the celebrations, with first and second year Extended Diploma and Foundation Degree Music students demonstrating their talents, taking to the stage and entertaining the local community.

Music students also supported and entertained visitors at the Christmas Street Festival, which consisted of live music stages, a Christmas market and exciting street entertainment. College Advice and Guidance staff were present throughout both events.

Grozone Community Garden

The Grozone Community Garden in Northwich has been open to visitors since 2008. Managed by Groundwork Cheshire and run by staff and volunteers, the team has secured lottery funding to keep this hidden oasis available for people to enjoy for as long as possible.

Supporting groups and individuals through a programme of social and horticultural therapy, adult students on the Foundation Learning course at Mid Cheshire College have been reaping the benefits of the gardens for many years; quickly developing green fingers, whilst learning about the environment. Students tend to their own beds, growing vegetables from seed to harvest and caring for them in between.

This stand-alone gardening course helps with; teamwork, instruction following and safe use of hand tools. Our Construction students have also helped on projects, using their bricklaying skills to build walls in the garden.

Just Giving

Through a multitude of events, activities and personal challenges, staff and students at Mid Cheshire College give hours of time, commitment and hard work to raise funds for a wide range of local, regional and national charities.

African Support & Assistance Project (ASAP)

In 2005 a group of staff from the College established the African Support & Assistance (ASAP) charity (1111317), with the objective of re-building a local school in Befole, a remote village in the mountainous region of Lesotho, a landlocked country in Southern Africa where 40% of the population live below the international poverty line. During the past eight years many events and activities have been organised to raise funds for this immensely worthwhile cause, raising an awe-inspiring total of £47,000. As such, the ASAP Charity achieved its goal to build the school and the full mission was completed in the summer 2013

Mid Cheshire College Learner Opportunity Fund

For the Academic year 2014/15, Mid Cheshire College will be launching a new charity, the ‘Learner Opportunity Fund’. This fantastic new initiative will focus on supporting those much closer to home, our own learners. Each year we see many students with little or no financial support, or those who find themselves in difficult personal circumstances. Many of these circumstances can starve them of the positive and fulfilling learning experience every young person is entitled to. From September 2014 all staff and students wishing to raise money for the College will be asked to consider the ‘Learner Opportunity Fund’ as a key beneficiary. Staff will also be encouraged to submit plans as to the most positive way in which this hard earned money will be spent.

Giving back to the community

At Mid Cheshire College, we strongly believe in giving back to the community in which we thrive and are proud to be involved in numerous projects in the surrounding areas and beyond.

As our students and staff demonstrate on a regular basis, community work doesn’t have to be dull and, where possible, we encourage all students to try and do their bit. Whether this is incorporated in the curriculum, activities at the College or outside work led by their own desires, we believe volunteering gives students a real understanding of the positive benefits of giving something back to your community.

Staff Volunteering Day

In July 2011 the College’s Senior Management Team inaugurated a staff volunteering day that allows staff to take the day off, without loss of pay, to volunteer in the community. Covering everything from volunteering in dog shelters and working with the RSPB to clear the Burton Wetlands site, to running a Spanish day in a primary school and renovations at a local church, staff all excelled at the opportunity and are now able to impart the benefits of such activities onto the MCC students.