Team from Suffolk wins national student support award

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A welfare and personal support team from Suffolk have triumphed at a national educational awards ceremony.

Staff from One Sixth Form College (ONE) (that also supports students across the Eastern Colleges Group (ECG) incorporating Abbeygate Sixth Form and West Suffolk College) received the ‘team of the year’ prize at the National Association for Managers of Student Services (NAMSS) annual conference.

The accolade was handed out earlier this month at a prestigious ceremony held in Liverpool.

Prizes were up for grabs in four categories - outstanding contribution, best project, best newcomer to further education and NAMSS team of the year.

The welfare team from ONE (representing the welfare teams and personal support tutor teams across the ECG) were delighted to secure the top prize in the ‘team of the year’ category.

Jackie Grimwood works for the ECG as a senior welfare officer and was nominated to receive the award on behalf of her colleagues.

Jackie said: “This is like the educational ‘Oscars’. So to be crowned ‘team of the year’ is a huge honour for everyone associated with welfare and personal progress working across the ECG.

“We pride ourselves on the wraparound care we provide to all of our learners.”

To secure the awards, the group put forward an overview of all of their work with learners that highlighted excellence in terms of counselling, sustainability, welfare and safeguarding.

Projects that were highlighted included the creation of an out-of-hours support helpline, a food parcel project, the creation of resources to support students with mental health issues and the development of a successful sustainable clothes swap initiative.

Chief Executive of the ECG, Dr Nikos Savvas said: “This is such an incredible achievement and the team thoroughly deserve to be recognised for their commitment, hard work, and outstanding support to all of the students across the ECG.  I am extremely proud of them all.”

In addition to a certificate and trophy, the team received £500.00.