Basingstoke College of Technology (BCoT) has been recognised for the mental health support and careers advice it provides students.
The college in Worting Road, has been named as a double finalist at this year’s prestigious Association of Colleges’ (AoC) Beacon Awards, in the NOCN Group Award for Mental Health and Wellbeing and the Careers & Enterprise Company Award for Excellence in Careers and Enterprise.
Over the past year, BCoT has introduced a number of initiatives across its services to provide quality mental health and wellbeing support, as well as careers advice and progression options for students after they’ve finished college, whether that be a job, university place or apprenticeship.
For example, more than 1,000 students have used virtual reality programmes to refine their interview techniques and manage interview anxiety as well as enhancing their social skills such as listening and presenting, improving their self-awareness and confidence.
The University Centre Basingstoke and the Green Energy Centre have both been launched to boost employment and career prospects in the area. The University Centre has made university level courses available for the first time in the town and improves progression from further education to higher education, while the Green Energy Centre, allows students and local businesses to become equipped with the knowledge and skills in renewable technologies such as air source heat pumps, solar thermal, photovoltaic systems and rainwater reuse.
The college has also made a £100,000 investment and developed the Haven, a dedicated space providing a calm and welcoming environment where free counselling and support can be accessed during the college day. Now fully open, students can access these facilities at any time and are not required to speak to staff, but they are surrounded by support should they choose to engage, or a crisis situation arises.
Anthony Bravo, Principal and Chief Executive of BCoT, said:
“We believe education leads to better life chances, but it isn’t just the courses we provide that give our students the best opportunities. We believe in a holistic approach to further education and strive to provide the best pastoral support for students during their time with us, and careers advice that will help our students go on to do whatever they choose.
“We are delighted for this special recognition from the AOC Beacon Awards, which is a testament to the dedication and passion of our teachers and support teams as well as the hard work of our students.”
The AOC Beacon Awards celebrate the best and most innovative practice among UK colleges each year.
Mark White CBE DL, Chair of AoC’s Charitable Trust, said:
“The AoC Beacon Awards showcase exactly why colleges are so important to every community and why people value them. These awards recognise the critical role undertaken by boards, governors and governance professionals developing capacity for sustained improvement in the quality of provision for students.”