South Eastern Regional College has been shortlisted for a national award which celebrates innovation, collaboration and excellence in the public sector for their CARE Project in the Murlough area of Newcastle.
The CARE Project, is in for the prestigious award under the Creating Communities category. The project aims to enhance economic activity in the Murlough Ward of Newcastle in County Down by providing support for adults with low, or no qualifications, to access education.
Heather McKee, Director of Strategic Planning, Quality and Support at SERC said, “We are thrilled to be shortlisted for this Award which puts education into the heart of local community by pulling together a dedicated and passionate team who have initiated a dynamic set of engagement and strategic interventions to make education more attractive to adult returners as well as removing barriers to their participation in education. This has involved working closely with local schools, organisations and Government agencies to support and encourage adult returners and has seen the opening of a creche, Little SERC, at our Newcastle Campus for children of students returning to education.”
She added, “In 2015 there were no adult ‘return to education’ students attending the SERC Newcastle Campus. In 2016/17 there were 15, 10 of which are studying at university after completing Restart Light, Restart and Access courses, and we anticipate comparable levels of success for subsequent students the number of which increased to over 50 by 2020.”
Newcastle woman, Caroline Parker, a second year Access to University student said, “It wouldn’t have crossed my mind even to think about returning to study if it hadn’t been for the creche facilities at SERC. Now I am in the second year of the course and hoping to progress to study Mental Health Nursing at Queen’s University Belfast next year.”
The CARE Project has been shortlisted along with Ayrshire College, HM Passport Office, Norfolk County Council and Police Digital Services. Winners will be announced an Awards Ceremony which will take place at the Imperial War Museum North (Media City, Manchester) on the evening of 25th of November 2021.
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Caroline Parker, a second year Access to University student at South Eastern Regional College, with children Zoe, Ryan and Sean Parker who attended Little SERC in Newcastle whilst she studied and (back) Heather McKee, Director of Strategic Planning, Quality and Support. The creche is part of a wider CARE Project which has been shortlisted for a national Smarter Working Live Award.