Maidenhead & Windsor Business Awards Finalists!

We’re absolutely delighted to have reached the finals of the Maidenhead & Windsor Business Awards 2018 in the ‘Best Company to Work For’ category.

Winners are to be announced next month, so watch this space!

‘Soccer Success’ for Level 3 Sports Student

Level 3 Sports student, Harry, who completed his study with us with us this year, has now been offered the amazing opportunity to play men’s football at St. Thomas University in Miami, USA.

Harry was a valued member of our own Maidenhead United Academy during his study so we’re absolutely delighted for him. You can read more about Harry’s achievements & his next step at: https://bit.ly/2LyRUuM

Floristry Students visit Downing Street

Last week, our very own Floristry Lecturer Jane Prodger was asked by the British Florist Association to make and deliver a design on their behalf to none other than 10 Downing Street in celebration of British Flower Week.

After many hours of hard work, Jane, along with four BCA Floristry students and using flowers sponsored by Florismart, finalised a beautiful design ready to deliver. On Wednesday 20th June, the group were driven to Downing Street where they had to go through lots of security checks before having their pictures taken outside the famous door and being invited in for a tour. The display took the very well deserved pride of place position, right inside the front door, ensuring every visitor to the house will see it. Although the Prime Minister was in the House of Commons at the time, the group were greeted instead by Larry, the Downing Street cat!

After the visit, Jane said; “This was certainly not a usual delivery for our Floristry students, but it was one that will be remembered forever. A fabulous experience for everyone involved.” A huge well done to the team from all at BCA, we are very proud!

BCA student wins Regional Rotary Young Writers Competition

Kelly,  an Equine Student here at BCA, impressed the Rotary Club with her creative writing skills, winning the regional round of the Young Writers Competition.

Students were encouraged to let their imagination take over and create a piece of creative writing with the heading ‘A Different Perspective’. The piece had to be around 500 words with the possibility of winning a cash prize for coming first or second. In her entry, Kelly described a young lady who was going through a difficult time in her life and how one act of kindness from a stranger changed everything.

On Thursday 10th May, Kelly was awarded her certificate, plaque and cash prize by Mary Spinks, from the Rotary Club. Mary states ‘Kelly’s presentation was absolutely excellent. The piece was well written and very topical. The three judges unanimously decided that Kelly was the winner and will be progressing onto the international competition.’

New Centre for Renewable Energy Training at BCA

 

Last Friday, we were delighted to welcome the Rt. Hon. Theresa May MP to celebrate the official opening of its newest facility – The Energy Centre.  The capital for the refurbishment and development of the site was made available through investment funds from the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). The Centre will provide training in the form of apprenticeships and short courses in biofuel engineering and related skills.

Rt. Hon Theresa May MP commented on her visit to BCA; “I was very pleased to go back to Berkshire College of Agriculture to hear of the innovative work the college is doing and to open the new energy centre. It’s vital that young people have the education and skills to take on the jobs needed for the future. So I was pleased to be able to meet with students who, through using the new energy centre, will be given the training and opportunity to make a real difference to help protect our planet for future generations.”

The emerging sector of biofuel and renewable energy had been identified by the College and employer partner LC Energy as having a significant skills gap, with a substantial need for education and upskilling of the current workforce. BCA’s Principal, Gillian May, explains “The College enrolled 12 new apprentices in April 2018 for this and associated programmes.  We already have two biomass boilers and engine rooms on campus; the addition of this new Centre provides the facility for the development of professionally recognised training for this sustainable energy provision. The capital for the refurbishment of this unit has been provided by the Thames Valley Berkshire LEP in accordance with the Skills Priority Statement.  Tim Smith, the CEO of the LEP, was on site for the opening along with Mark Lebus, CEO of LC Energy, our employer partner in this venture”.

Mark Lebus reiterated Gillian’s position by adding “we are delighted to have collaborated with BCA and the Thames Valley Berkshire LEP to deliver the UK’s first biomass training facility at a Further Education college. The renewable energy sector offers sustainable employment but currently lacks accredited training and skills.  By widening access to training, we can eliminate the skills shortage and play our part in creating a Britain fit for the future – outlined in the Government’s recent Industrial Strategy. Our thanks to The Rt. Hon. Theresa May MP for opening this facility and helping to raise awareness of the skills shortage and opportunities in the biomass industry”.

The Thames Valley Berkshire LEP have financially supported the College and LC Energy in their mission to promote and educate the local and wider communities in this sustainable form of energy.  Peter Read, Chairman of Thames Valley Berkshire LEP explains “This a great example of where the LEP has supported the development of new facilities in the area to support our students, workforce and business community. Investment in Colleges in Berkshire is a key priority in our Strategic Economic Plan, which identifies investment in skills as a fundamental pillar of local economic growth.”

BCA Conservation Fundraising Efforts to Feature on Marlow FM

BCA Animal Technician, Nick Shelley, will be featuring on Marlow FM’s ‘Mid Morning Matters’ (97.5FM) show tomorrow morning (6th April) from 10am to discuss the fundraising efforts of the Conservation Club outlined below. Make sure you tune in to hear all about the important reasons behind the mammoth effort.

On Wednesday 30th May, a team of BCA students and staff are undertaking a sponsored walk from Howletts Wild Animal Park to Port Lympne Reserve in Kent raising money for the Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit. These incredible women work 365 days a year patrolling their patch of the Kruger National Park with a particular focus on protecting rhinos. They walk at least 18 miles a day through scorching temperatures monitoring the wildlife and looking for and removing evidence of poaching including snares.

Poaching is pushing all five remaining species of rhino to the brink of extinction. This was evidenced recently by the death of Sudan, the last male Northern White Rhino in the world. The Black Mambas work hard to prevent this. More information on these women can be found at http://www.blackmambas.org/ 

To make the walk all the more challenging, Nick will also be wearing the rhino suit featured in this image, kindly donated to the cause by Save the Rhino.

If you would like to sponsor the team or want more information on the walk itself, please visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/Ramble4Rhinos

Cake Sale Success for Stand Up to Cancer

An incredible £137 has been raised by our fantastic Animal Management team in aid of Stand Up to Cancer UK, organized by the team’s Learning Support Assistant, Sarah.
 
Staff spent their weekends baking, to have their amazing creations judged by BCA’s answer to Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith. Congratulations to Katherine, Level 1 Animal Care Course Manager, who won ‘Star Baker’ with her incredible Sea Turtle cake – what a masterpiece!
 
Well done to all involved, including the students who took over cake sales after judges had picked their winners.

We Are Open

 

We are open to staff, students and visitors, as usual, today – Monday 19th March 2018.

The campus has been gritted, but we ask everyone to dress sensibly with sturdy footwear and have a safe journey this morning.