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College’s Green Hwb officially launched

College’s Green Hwb officially launched

Staff and students at Gower College Swansea welcomed a very special guest to the official launch of their Green Hwb.

Iolo Williams, a renowned advocate for environmental conservation and a familiar face from his appearances on TV programmes such as Springwatch, The Last Wilderness of Wales, Iolo’s Borderlands and Natur Gudd Cymru, was given a tour of the facilities and spent time chatting to students.

The College has offered landscaping and eco construction courses since 2019 but now – with the launch of the Green Hwb – students will have a dedicated space in which to learn and relax.

A tour of the new facilities included the kitchen garden, which has a food production area, the pond, polytunnel and orchard. Inside, new workrooms and art rooms also impressed the visitors.

A plum tree, kindly donated by Dobbies Garden Centre, was planted in honour of the special occasion.

Principal Kelly Fountain says:

“We were delighted to welcome Iolo and all our special guests and partners to the launch of the Green Hwb,”

“From rather humble beginnings in 2019, with no allocated funding and working from buildings that were not particularly well suited to the provision, the landscaping team – led by our visionary Schools Manager Lynne Burrows – have transformed their area of the campus into what it is today.

“Every day, and in all weathers, they inspire and engage the learners, many of whom did not have a positive early experience of education. They have instilled a real sense of community in their students and enabled them to develop practical skills that will set them in good stead for employment, and for life.

“Now, thanks to further investment from the College, the learners have truly enjoyed personalising the Green Hwb facilities as their own with classroom space, workshops and a dedicated arts/crafts area.”

During his visit, Iolo spoke of how uplifting he had found the tour of the Green Hwb and how he hoped that such facilities could be made available to more learners.

Director of Skills Development and Schools Partnership, Jenny Hill adds:

“Lynne was really ahead of the curve back in 2019, She had a real vision of how connecting with nature could have a positive impact on young people and their wellbeing. She then set about recruiting a wonderful team of lecturers and support staff who, in turn, have inspired some incredible learners. We’ve seen really encouraging progress in both student attendance and progression onto higher level courses at the College.”

In fact, the landscaping team are currently in the running for not one, but two, prestigious awards – the Pearson National Teaching Awards and the Professional Teaching Awards Cymru.

The Green Hwb has already become an integral part of the College, running an outdoor gardening club on staff wellbeing days, supplying the training restaurant The Vanilla Pod with herbs, and donating fruit and veg to local food banks.

The College would like to thank the organisations and individuals who have been so instrumental in the development of the Green Hwb, and who supported the launch event including:

  • 4theRegion
  • Ark Project
  • Bwyd Abertawe
  • Cae Tan
  • Careers Wales
  • Cwm Environmental 
  • Dobbies Garden Centre
  • Fresh Creative
  • Gower College Swansea’s Estates and Catering teams
  • Swansea Council (Learning Coaches and School Staff)
  • Swansea Orchard Project

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