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e-life COLLEGE

Darlington College Staff E-Newsletter, issue 4

Creative Genes

The Glasshouse Restaurant

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Dawn of a new era for campus... Tracey Laycock has picked up the reins to run the new Skills Centre in Catterick for North Yorkshire's young people who are not in education or training.

I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities we are going to give these young learners, and the chance for them to get a taste of college life, and see exactly what a difference coming here can make to their future Tracey Laycock

For several years Tracey Laycock has worked as a Learner Coach in the college, where she has developed a valuable set of skills in relating to young people who need help with personal problems and who can find the classroom a difficult environment. Numbers are looking good for the new Skills Centre and Tracey is working like a Trojan to engage with agencies who deal with disadvantaged teenagers around Catterick, Colburn and the wider North Yorkshire areas. “I literally can’t wait to get the

project up and running because I know what a difference it will make and what opportunities Project-U will bring to people, and ultimately make a difference to their lives and what they go on to do,” said Tracey. “It has been a huge challenge but we have created fantastic facilities at Catterick Skills Centre and we are giving young people chances now to acquire a skill in their chosen subject. We have everything from Creative Media to Painting & Decorating, Hair and Beauty,

Childcare and more.” she said. The refurbishment of the facility is now complete and the centre boasts an impressive hair salon, separate beauty treatment room, and a skills corridor for painting and decorating, along with other classrooms for Media and Business Administration. Tracey is also taking up responsibility for the pre-16 provision in college and working with over 130 youngsters from across schools in Darlington and across North Yorkshire.

Success Rates through the roof! The National Student Survey asks final year undergraduates to provide feedback on their HE courses. Darlington College was ranked fourth nationally and top in the North-East from all academic institutions! Overall student satisfaction was 94 per cent, exceeding the national average of 82 per cent. Principal Tim Grant said: "Coming to college is one of the best experiences in your life and we do everything we possibly can to ensure our students get the best education and enjoyment out of their time here."

We’d love to hear from you… If you have any news for the next newsletter you’d like to share with us, please contact Marketing on or Kath MacColl on


COLLEGE e-life, issue 4

Gail, Paul and Phil

Staff Survey Success A big thank you to all staff who completed the recent Business Support Survey, and congratulations to Phil Knowles and Gail Carroll who won the prizes. Business Support Managers have found the feedback extremely useful in evaluating the services that they provide, and gaining a better understanding of their customers perceptions. The survey will be conducted again in 2012 as part of the Colleges continuous strive to raise standards and improve. The continued involvement of all staff would be appreciated, both positive and negative!

Chris Owen welcomed on board

New College Governor Chris Owen has accepted an offer to join the College Corporation Board and has attended his first meeting. He is an accountant working for his father Clive Owen, at the moment he is specialising in audit and already has considerable experience of working with organisations in the North East. Chris was born and brought up in Darlington and is keen to further strengthen the board through his financial experience. He will be joining the college Audit Committee.

Patchwork of Memories A patchwork quilt, started 35 years ago by a mother who died before she could complete it, has finally been finished. Emma Clegg’s mother, Dianne, started the project while she was pregnant with her daughter in 1977, using material from duvet covers, shirts and summer dresses to reflect Emma’s childhood. But after spending 16 years working on the quilt, including when she was expecting Emma’s brother, Andrew, Mrs Clegg died of breast cancer in 1994, with the quilt unfinished. The treasured quilt remained in a box until her daughter had a chance encounter with a colleague. Emma spotted colleague Jane Batty from the Finance department sewing in one of the staff rooms, and asked for her advice in finishing her mother’s project. She said: “When my mum originally started it, it was for a single bed, but then Jane added more to it and made it into a double bedspread. Seeing the final piece of work that Jane has done was really

Emma under the patchwork quilt

very emotional. “I was surprised to see Jane sewing that day in the classroom because I have never seen anyone else patchworking. She did a brilliant job rounding the edges and finishing it off.” Miss Clegg, who has worked at the college for more than ten years, will be putting the quilt on display at her home. “I felt really emotional, because

every scrap of material has a memory, and the work Jane has done to finish it is beautiful,” she said. “I would like to put it somewhere I can see it. “It had been hidden away in a box for years. I can remember my mum using materials from my dad’s shorts, and summer dresses I wore as a child, so it feels very special to me. It feels like a tapestry of my life.”

From Coast to Coast and beyond! Tutor Richard Longstaff and a group of 16 pals completed the Coast to Coast from Whitehaven to Sunderland in aid of the cancer charity 'Everyman'. The group was led by Richard's close friend Paddy, who was recently treated for testicular cancer. "There was a great atmosphere as everyone was driven to raise money for this vital cause - but it was still a lot tougher than we expected"

said Richard. "I'd like to thank all those who sponsored me for the challenge - if you would still like to donate, the 'just giving' page is" Keep posted for more challenges to come! Another sports group completed the Great North Run on Sunday 18th September. Dec Donaghy, Karley Cresser and DJ ran on behalf of the Childrens' Heart Unit Foundation based at the

Freeman Hospital in Newcastle. CHUF helps to save lives of young people by providing vital equipment and funds life changing programmes to make life easier for the children affected. Even more fundraising from Lynda Hook, Learning Support Assistant, who completed a SkyDive in aid of the children’s education charity based in the North East, Coco.


COLLEGE e-life, issue 4

Creative Genes It’s a case of like father, like son for tutor Keith Bailey and son Mark. Ex student Mark Daniel Bailey comes from a line of coiffeurs six generations long, but learned his trade at college. Born in Bishop Auckland, brought up in Spennymoor, his dad Keith has a salon in Newton Aycliffe and for the past 30 years has taught hairdressing at Darlington College, where Mark also learnt his trade.

Sophie, Stacey and Lauren

Dancing Queens

Son Mark lives a jet-set existence taking part in international fashion shows, staging demonstrations at a hair academy in Paris, or doing models’ hair for photoshoots for some of the most popular magazines. Some of Mark's fashion work has been seen in glossy mags and on catwalks around the world “It is a bit hand-to-mouth,” admits Mark, who took an NVQ in hairdressing and a City and Guilds in photography at Darlington College. “I end up doing a lot of freebies in return for a favour and even the big magazines like Vogue only pay modest day rates.” Many young hairdressers leave college to work in or set up their own businesses in Darlington – the hairdressing capital of the country with more salons per head than anywhere in the UK. Mark started young, sweeping up the clippings in his father’s salon from as far back as he can remember and helping shampoo from the age of eight, standing on a milk crate to reach the client’s head. After leaving Darlington College and working for his dad and the hair salon chain Saks, Mark joined Toni & Guy. “This was really exciting and after nailing the classic cuts, I felt much more confident. I opened the Toni & Guy outlet in Darlington but became obsessed with the business side of things and felt I was missing out on the creative side. “I ended up going to Paris to work in their academy. I didn’t speak any French and had to go on stage to give demonstrations, which was really tough. Through a friend, I was able to start working in fashion, helping the hairdressers and I worked on an Yves Saint Laurent campaign. I got to work with people like stylist Malcolm Edwards and I realised this was what I wanted to do.” When he isn’t flying round the world, Mark

We are absolutely fascinated by hair and like to think of ourselves as sculptors, creating shape and texture from hair – whether that is in New York or Newton Aycliffe.

works on designs with his father, Keith, who has been a hairdresser for 40 years, having worked in London, Paris and Sweden, and taught his craft to countless students at Darlington College, as well as staging hair shows and teaching fashion photography. Keith’s career has spun off into photography and for the past 25 years he has had his work published in hairdressing and fashion journals and books and displayed in galleries. He completed a BA Hons in photography at Cleveland College of Art and Design and his work adorns the walls of the newly refurbished Glasshouse Restaurant at Darlington College. “For us hair is a passion and photography is an extension of the art,” says Keith. “We are absolutely fascinated by hair and like to think of ourselves as sculptors, creating shape and texture from hair – whether that is in New York or Newton Aycliffe.”

Marketing co-ordinator Stacey Fletcher first started dancing at the age of two and rekindled her love of tap four years ago. Stacey, who has been at college since 1997, now performs with the Pierremont School of Dance in Darlington. And it’s a family affair with daughters Lauren, aged 10, and Sophie, aged four, following in their mother’s dancing steps and learning ballet, tap and modern dance. Stacey’s adult tap group have performed publicly at the show that the dance group do every 2 years and meet every Saturday to hone their routines. “I first started dancing when I was about two and a half, and then stopped when I was 15, and then I quickly got back into it four years ago, and I really enjoy it, it keeps me active and I have made some lovely friends and it also helps me guide my girls with their steps to help make sure that they get the beats correct”. “I am working towards my Gold tap exam which will take place in mid-2012, and then it will be action stations again and show time.” Rachel Wilson, Digital Marketing Co-Ordinator, is also putting on her dancing shoes in aid of a good cause. She is working with Watoto North East, a team of 20 young people raising money to go out to Uganda next year and work with the charity, Watoto. Watoto provide homes and education for orphaned children and the North East team aim to build an education centre in one of the Watoto villages. All monies raised will go towards building materials for the project. The team are keen to raise money in a variety of ways and on November 11th Rachel will be dancing the Tango in an evening dubbed ‘Strictly Come Dancing’. Rachel says ‘All of the couples taking part are complete amateurs and so that in itself has been a huge challenge. Add to this an audience of 150 people and being judged by industry experts, it is all getting very tense!’ The event will be held in Shildon Civic Hall and the tickets are priced £6. Contact Rachel on ext 3231 for more information.


COLLEGE e-life, issue 4

Staff News Focus on… Mike Elwell Mike Elwell has been appointed Assistant Director of Engineering at a time of a global shortage of skilled tradesmen. Billingham-born, the 37-yearold trained as an engineer in the Royal Navy working on the aircraft carrier HMS Invincible, the destroyer Manchester and minesweeper Leeds Castle – twice circumnavigating the globe. After serving for nine years, he left the navy to become an air-conditioning engineer before starting his teaching career in the North-East. “Learning my trade in the

Welcome… navy gave me the ability to think on my feet as when you are at sea you have to be able to solve major problems with limited engineering resources,” he said. “Flying the flag on Invincible was fantastic and I visited just about every country in the world except Russia and Australia. One minute we were helping volcano victims, the next looking for pirates off the coast of Africa.” His role at Darlington College will be to hone the skills of the next generation of modern engineers to help fill a global shortage of technical staff. “Engineering has never been so exciting,” said Mike.

“There are new technologybased engineering, such as solar and wind power technology which we are actively developing. “We need to tap into youthful enthusiasm, to promote with new software and innovative equipment and technologies instead of the old fashioned stereotypical engineering, the youth of today need to understand that science, technology, engineering and mathematics are key elements for progressing into the predicted employment deficit in engineering or any technological industry to fill the inevitable skills gap in the UK.

The college has responded to the changing needs of the modern world by overhauling the traditional National Council for the Training of Journalism certificate. The new 18 week diploma will see students master digital media including online video production, social media, writing for modern platforms and interacting with readers. As programme leader, Sue

Sue Calvert Professional Tutor Sharon Kemp Cleaning Manager Mike Elwell Assistant Director Engineering Alan Green Professional Tutor Painting & Decorating Andrew Millward CCTV Operator William Taylor Caretaker

Thanks to…

Sue Calvert Former executive editor Sue Calvert has been appointed to oversee the rejuvenated journalism course at Darlington College.

Welcome to the following new members of staff:

is ideally placed to oversee the transition with a breadth of knowledge stretching back to the college’s journalism school. After passing the NCTJ course herself she worked as a reporter on the Hexham Courant and as a sub-editor on the Shields Gazette. She joined the Evening Gazette in Middlesbrough as deputy chief sub editor, working her way up to assistant editor and latterly executive editor. “I was also latterly heavily involved in training in the newsroom at the Trinity Mirror daily and had started training to teach in my spare time,” said Sue, originally from County Durham, now living in Teesside. “It’s a fantastic opportunity to take over the new course

because the media is undergoing such an amazing transformation. People still have a voracious appetite for news but the medium is changing by the day.” The course is based upon five core modules: reporting and writing; essential media law, the importance of accurate sourcing and the code of conduct; public affairs; shorthand up to 100 words per minute; and developing a portfolio of published work, including print, video, audio and photography. “The course will prepare students for a fastchanging, hugely varied, multi-media global industry,” added Sue.

We would like to thank the following staff for their valuable service to Darlington College and wish them all the best for their future endeavours: Catherine Anderson Professional Tutor HE Employment & Skills Paul Bray Professional Tutor Computing Sharon Davies Professional Tutor, HE Craig Mclaren Project Co-ordinator, Curriculum Lorraine Shirley Assessor Hospitality/ Catering


COLLEGE e-life, issue 4

The Glasshouse Restaurant The new head chef of the college restaurant once cooked a £250 platter of seafood for Ozzy Osbourne and his family!

JP’s Fishcakes and Tartare Sauce! Why not try JP’s recipe for Fish Cakes? Makes approximately 10 portions 500g Cooked Fish (Salmon, Cod, Haddock, or Crab can be used) 500g Mashed Potato 3 Eggs 100g Flour 400g Breadcrumbs Chopped Parsley Chopped Dill Chopped Chillies Lemon, Salt and Pepper to taste

Method: 1. Cook the fish in a steamer or in a tray covered with tinfoil John Paul, who trained at the Cleveland Avenue site, has prepared dishes for an array of celebrities including Rod Stewart and Penny Lancaster. John has worked in restaurants all over the country, and abroad, and served the Osbournes during a stint in Australia. Restaurant Manager Natalie Covell hasn’t met Ozzy, but has served stars such as

Robbie Williams, Westlife and Paul Daniels! Natalie brings more than 13 years of experience in restaurants up and down the country, and can’t wait to share her experience and wealth of knowledge. The opening times for The Glasshouse are 10am for morning coffee, lunch is served from noon, and the restaurant closes at 2pm.

2. Keep mash plain and drain all liquor from the fish. Ensure the mash and fish are still slightly warm and mix together with salt and pepper and mixed herbs. 3. Divide in to 10 pieces and mould into cake shapes 4. Pass through a coating of flour, beaten eggs and breadcrumbs 5. Ensure all shapes are the same size 6. Deep fry in fryer until light golden brown then place on a tray in an oven on 180C for 6-8 mins Tartare Sauce 100g Capers 100g Gherkins Half a Lemon juice 200g Mayonnaise 50g Chopped Parsley

Method: 1. Finely chop gherkins & capers 2. Add the lemon juice and mayonnaise John Paul

Natalie Covell

3. Season and add chopped parsley


COLLEGE e-life, issue 4

Announcements... Darlington Book Club The next book group meeting is on Thursday the 3rd November at 5pm in the LRC. The next book (depending on availability from Darlington Library) will be either 'The Help' by

Christmas bash Sprinkle yourself with magic dust and Hollywood glamour for an evening of sparkle at the college Christmas bash. The theme of the night is ‘A Night at The Oscars’ and guests will be invited to buy their own tickets at £10 a head, thus incurring no costs for the college. The evening will start with a small number of staff awards and feature a three-course meal and entertainment. The date is Friday 2nd December… more details to follow on the staff intranet

Kathryn Stockett or 'Behind the scenes at the Museum' by Kate Atkinson. The book will be available to collect from the LRC from Monday 17th October.

First class hons degree for Elaine!

World’s Biggest Coffee morning in aid of MacMillan Cancer On Friday 30th September the college took part in the world’s biggest coffee morning in aid of MacMillan Cancer. James and the team in Catering served freshly brewed coffee and cupcakes!

Acoustic nights Open nights are held at the aQoustic lounge in the Quakerhouse, Mechanics Yard, Darlington fortnightly on Mondays. With many good musicians within our staff it

would be desirable to have a dedicated music evening purely for Darlington College. Contact Dave Cadman, for more information.

Congratulations to Elaine Kyle who has gained a first class honours degree in Business Administration from Teesside University. Elaine is PA to Sue Harris Executive Director in the Executive suite.

Pet Corner

She thanked all her colleagues for their support over the last three years.

Alfie is a three-year old Westie whose ‘mum’ Emma Clegg is a tutor in Childcare.

“Everyone has been so supportive of my studies, and I want to thank them, especially my foundation degree tutors, without their help and guidance in the first two year I could not have achieved this,” she said.

Likes Snorkelling in muddy water Chasing squirrels Playing with all his girlfriends Dislikes Fireworks German Shepherds Having a bath

Tim’s Tweeting! You can now follow the Principal Tim Grant on Twitter! Find him @TimGrantDC

College e-life  

Darlington College Staff e-newsletter

College e-life  

Darlington College Staff e-newsletter