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SERC Nominated for Two Diversity and Inclusion Heroes WorldSkills Awards

Michelle Hickland and Catherine Shipman

South Eastern Regional College (@S_ERC) has been nominated for two Awards for the Diversity and Inclusion Heroes Awards 2020.

The Awards organised by WorldSkills UK, in partnership with Coca-Cola European Partners, are set to honour, celebrate and shine a light on individuals and organisations who are going above and beyond, championing diversity and inclusion withing their organisation and wider technical education sector.

Michelle Hickland, has been nominated for the Role Model of the Year Award sponsored by Festo. Michelle, who is a Deputy Head of School and responsible for Skills for Life and Work, leads a team of 34 to bring education and training opportunities to students with Special Educational Needs and severe learning difficulties; helping them maximise their potential and prepare for adult life.

Michelle recognised the benefits the well-known DofE programme could offer the students and championed its introduction in September 2018. It was a challenging process, establishing the delivery framework whilst adhering to College policies and legal responsibilities, with the students’ needs to the fore. None of the staff involved had any prior experience of DofE, and thanks to Michelle’s determination SERC attained DofE ‘Licensed Organisation’ status.

In addition, SERC’s Student Engagement Team, Managed by Catherine Shipman, has been nominated for the Network of the Year Award sponsored by Air products. SERC established the role of Student Engagement Manager in June 2018 with a view to supporting the student voice and developing opportunities for students to improve their personal and social development through volunteering, skills, and activities. To this end there has been extensive development and growth of the Students’ Union, college committees, wellbeing support services and the development of partnerships with community and voluntary organisations.

All nominees will be invited to join the Diversity and Inclusion Heroes Awards Digital Ceremony being held 16.00 – 17.00 on Thursday 28 January 2021, where the winners will be announced.  Best of luck to Michelle and the Student Engagement Team.


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