South Essex College makes commitment to support students and staff with their mental health and wellbeing



South Essex College has reaffirmed their commitment to staff and students by signing up to a brand new national mental health and wellbeing charter - created by the Association of Colleges in conjunction with mental health experts.

The 11-point document includes commitments to:
•    Promoting equality of opportunity and challenging mental health stigma
•    Providing appropriate mental health training for staff
•    Providing targeted individual mental health support where appropriate

Colleges across England teach and train 2.2 million people each year - including 685,000 young people. Every year, 1 in 10 young people experience a mental health problem and 1 in 5 young people aged 16-24 experience a common mental illness such as anxiety or depression at any one time. Add to these facts, 75% of adults with a diagnosable mental health problem experience their first symptoms before the age of 24 means South Essex College plays a vital role in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of its 10,000 students and 1,200 staff.

Angela O’Donoghue, Principal at South Essex College, said: “South Essex College is proud to sign this charter to signal our continued commitment to the good mental health and wellbeing of our students and staff. We are aware of the impact of mental health issues on young people, particularly in light of Covid and have a whole host of activities planned to support them.”

Richard Caulfield, Mental Health lead at the Association of Colleges, said:
“Every single day colleges like South Essex College provide a world class education and transform the lives of millions of people. This includes providing support for both staff and student wellbeing at the right time, in the right place. This
charter gives colleges the chance to publicly state their commitment to the mental health agenda.”

Success stories

Celebrating Success 2022: Maison Lundrigan

Celebrating Success 2022: Maison Lundrigan

Course studied

Motor Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Level 3 Diploma

It’s a great college, especially for people with disabilities. The support I received from my tutor Charlie was brilliant. I really enjoyed the practical, hands-on aspect of the course.

Maison Lundrigan was named Motor Vehicle Student of the Year for his dedication and the consistent hard work he put into his studies.

The 18-year-old was praised for the high quality of his work and the fact that he was the first to pass his online exams. 

He has excelled during his time at the college, so much so, he is now embarking on a three-year apprenticeship programme at the college.

Maison has achieved all this despite living with additional needs.

He said it felt ‘brilliant’ to win the award and ‘it’s made me realise that I can achieve even with my disability.’

He added: “I chose the college because it offered the right course for me.

“It’s a great college, especially for people with disabilities. The support I received from my tutor Charlie was brilliant. I really enjoyed the practical, hands-on aspect of the course.”

Maison is now looking forward to his apprenticeship so he can pursue his dream of becoming a car mechanic.

His tutor said: “He is a pleasant and well-mannered young man that any college or employer would be pleased to have. Maison has a very bright future ahead of him.”

Celebrating Success 2022: Luke Lambert

Celebrating Success 2022: Luke Lambert

Course studied

Performing and Production Arts (Musical Theatre) Level 3 Extended Diploma

I have enjoyed receiving honest feedback and having the opportunity to grow as a performer. Tutors really encourage their students.

Performing Arts Student of the Year, Luke Lambert, has won his award because in every respect, his development and improvement has been outstanding.

Luke said that he feels extremely proud and grateful for the recognition. 

He said: “I chose to study at the college because I went to the open day with my parents. We were all really excited by the course and impressed by Richard and his ambition for his students.”

He added: “The course has been great for learning professional etiquette, as well as the actual training. I have enjoyed receiving honest feedback and having the opportunity to grow as a performer. Richard and Neil really encourage their students.” 

Luke’s tutor said: “Luke is an outstanding student. The development of his skills set during his time at this college is phenomenal which has been rewarded by casting him in the lead of the cohorts FMP production of ‘Spring Awakening’. As a result of his continuous diligence and want to improve, he has achieved offers from four top London Drama Schools to study Musical Theatre, Bird College, Arts Educational, Italia Conti and Guildford Conservatoire (GSA). This is far above what was expected at the beginning of his training. 

“He has demonstrated that he is highly motivated to succeed in this industry and aspires to always do his best. He is polite and well-mannered at all times to both his peers and his tutors. He is extremely well respected  by his cohort. He is always supportive of them and goes out of his way to help them. 

“He has become a very influential member of the group in so many positive ways. Behaviour, focus and attention to detail is impeccable and cannot be faulted. He has met every deadline for both practical and academic tasks. A faultless time at this college.”

Luke will be studying for a BA (Hons) in Musical Theatre at ArtsEd in London from September and his ultimate ambition is to be performing leading roles in the West End. 
 

Celebrating Success 2022: Zoe Souto

Celebrating Success 2022: Zoe Souto

Course studied

Animal Care Level 2 Diploma

Zoe Souto, 17, from Rayleigh, studied Level 2 Animal Care at the college’s Southend campus.

She was nominated for the award for her excellent attendance and attitude to college life and for completing work before deadlines to a very high standard.

Her tutor said: “Zoe is a very calming influence on the group. She keeps up-to-date with all work and goes above and beyond what is expected.

“Zoe may be hearing impaired but she never lets that act as a barrier to her learning and does everything to a great standard. I often have to set her work from level 3 to keep her ticking over.”

Zoe said: “I feel so proud of myself and surprised as I didn’t expect to be nominated, let alone win. I enjoyed all the support that was given during my course and have always been made to feel at home at the college.”

Zoe’s ambition for the future is to run her own pet services business or run her own cattery.
 

Celebrating Success 2022: Sophie Peacock

Celebrating Success 2022: Sophie Peacock

Course studied

Creative Media Production (Television and Film Production) Level 3 Extended Diploma

I would definitely recommend South Essex College to those are who are looking for somewhere to be themselves and find their true passion.

Sophie Peacock, 17, from Billericay, studied the Level 3 Creative Media (Television and Film) Diploma at the college’s Southend campus.

She was nominated for the award for her good level of organisation and commitment to every task as well as being a mature, professional and articulate student. 

Her tutor said: “Sophie takes advantage of every opportunity available to her both in college and outside, as she understands the value and benefits it will provide her with, in terms of networking, communicating, professionalism and improving her knowledge and skills. She is an absolute pleasure to have in the classroom and I hope she goes on to achieve great success.”
Sophie chose to study at the college because she liked the facilities that were available for her course.

She has loved the amount of creative freedom that the course has offered and being able to create any ideas and turn them into a reality with the support of her tutors.

Sophie was really proud and a little bit overwhelmed about winning the award.

She said: “I would definitely recommend South Essex College to those are who are looking for somewhere to be themselves and find their true passion.”

Sophie’s ambition for the future is to become a producer on the set of a live entertainment program. 
 

Celebrating Success 2022: Reiss Willis

Celebrating Success 2022: Reiss Willis

Course studied

Art and Design (Graphic Design) Level 3 Extended Diploma

Coming to college gave me the opportunity to make a fresh start.

Reiss Willis, from South Ockenden, studied the Level 3 Art & Design (Graphic Design) Diploma at the college’s Southend campus.

He was nominated for his positive attitude, work ethic and for producing high quality work, using digital and non-traditional methods.

His tutor said: “Reiss is a very nice individual, who is popular with the rest of the group and always eager to help other students. He should be incredibly proud of himself and his achievements because if he continues with this positive attitude and work ethic, he will have a fantastic future.”

Reiss would recommend South Essex College because of its accessibility, its support in all fields and the quality of teaching.

His greatest achievement was making a change in himself, to become more dedicated and motivated and be the ‘best version’ of himself. 

He said: “I struggled a little in school with behaviour and staying focussed so I knew coming to college was a fresh start and I could make a new impression. By completing all work to the highest quality and always completing additional work, I was able to win this award which I am very proud of.”

His plan after college is to go to Loughborough University and continue pursuing his dreams. 

His long term ambition is in graphic design where he would like to have his own firm and become a creative director, taking on jobs and rebrands for big companies.
 

Celebrating Success 2022: Mia Riley

Celebrating Success 2022: Mia Riley

Course studied

Sport and Exercise Sciences Level 3 Extended Diploma

I am so glad I chose South Essex College as it has given me the independence I needed in preparation for university

Mia Riley, 17, from Southend, studied the Level 3 Sport and Exercise Science Diploma at the college’s Southend campus.

She was nominated for her award for taking on multiple extracurricular activities and qualifications through college and putting in all her effort to every academic situation.

Her tutor said: “Mia is on track to achieve the highest grade possible for her course and has improved greatly throughout her time on the course. She is an exemplary sports student and person with a great care for education and future. We wish her all the success for the future.”

Mia liked that the students were treated as adults compared to school and that she was given more independence across the two years.

She describes herself as a shy person and said it would have been easier to stay at school, however her current course sounded a lot more challenging and pushed her out of her comfort zone. 

She said: “I feel so pleased about winning the award and feel proud to receive it. I am so glad I chose South Essex College as it has given me the independence I needed in preparation for university.”

Mia will be going to Loughborough University to study sport science, physical education and coaching, with ambitions to eventually become a PE teacher. 

Celebrating Success 2022: Lubna Sahmoud

Celebrating Success 2022: Lubna Sahmoud

Course studied

I would recommend the college because it opens many doors to you, and a support that accompanies you

Gateway to Vocational Learning Student of the Year, Lubna Sahmoud, said winning this award was very unexpected.

She explained: “When things like this happen, you just don't know how to describe them because they are special, but I can say that I felt very fulfilled and satisfied with myself”

Lubna chose to study at South Essex College because she felt it offered her the course that most suited her.

She said: “The college makes all students feel welcome and looks after them both mentally and physically. I really like my teachers, who have been very understanding about my language situation, they have  supported me so much and I would like to send all of them a thank you from my heart.”

Lubna’s tutor said: “ Lubna is a dedicated learner who always attempts work given to her with as much energy as possible. Lubna works very hard, is always attentive and focused, and produces high quality work because of it.” 

Lubna added that 2022 has been full of success both from a personal, educational, and work point of view . 

She said: “It was full of challenges as I am living in a country with a new language, people, culture, and climate. But all this was worth it, and one of the results that proves it is precisely this award.

“I would recommend the college because it opens many doors to you, and a support that accompanies you.”

Lubna plans to start a Level 2 Health and Social Care course and also work in health or sales services. 

She said: “My ambitions for the future are many, but the concept lies in doing good for people so I would like to create a charity and become a positive influence to people .”