Haringey Virtual School and Tottenham Hotspur hosted their Annual ‘Education Achievement Awards of Haringey Children in Care 2019’ in November. Student Bereket Assaye, 17, won the Learning Achievement Award and so he and his Curriculum Manager from the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London were invited to the London Academy of Excellence to receive their award.

The award ceremony recognises students’ hard work, dedication and commitment to their studies, despite sometimes having to deal with personal obstacles that other students do not. CONEL’s ESOL Curriculum Manager, Melike Asan, nominated Bereket for the award.

Melike said: “Bereket is a young person from Eritrea. He came to the UK as an unaccompanied minor and despite his young age and not having his family in the UK, he is aware of his own responsibilities. He always motivates himself and is determined to achieve in the UK. He is very kind, well-mannered and supports his peers. He always shows respect to his tutors and classmates.

“He started with very low language skills and worked hard and passed all his exams in Entry Level 2. His achievement is due to his determination and hard work. He has set a very good example to all other learners including those who have a more privileged life in London. We are very proud of his achievement in his exams and how his confidence has developed during his time with us. He is currently studying ESOL Entry 3 and Level 1 Functional Skills in Maths.

“Bereket told me he enjoyed the award ceremony and felt very proud of his achievements.  This is a reward for all his hard work.”

Here at CONEL we aim to help all students gain the skills and qualifications they need to progress to their next step, whether this is further education or into a career. We are dedicated to helping our students with their personal lives too, which is why we have a specialist safeguarding team to help students with any issues they may be facing in or outside of college.

“This is a great award for CONEL to receive,” Director of Employment Skills and Support, Hilary Moore, said. “The ESOL team run a really tight ship. This award is a great testament to the hard work of the tutors and learners that leads to so many gaining the language and employability skills they need.

“We pride ourselves on preparing students to progress into jobs or other training opportunities and integrate into the local area.”

The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London has partnered with Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust and Haringey Council to support young people with learning disabilities into employment.

The programme, which is run in partnership with Project SEARCH, a charity that works with organisations in the UK to help people with learning disabilities find a job, will provide the young people with a year-long supported internship at North Middlesex University Hospital while they complete their academic studies at CONEL.

The students, aged between 16 and 24, will work in various departments across the hospital and will be given tasks designed to build their self-confidence, teambuilding and communication skills.

In addition to hands-on work experience, they will receive mentoring and attend additional workshops organised by Tottenham Hotspur Foundation to help further develop their career potential and prepare them for the workplace.

At the end of the academic year, the students will have an opportunity to apply for a full-time job at the hospital. Anyone who isn’t successful will be supported by Tottenham Hotspur Foundation to find alternative employment.

According to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics, only seven per cent of people with a learning disability are currently in paid employment and these people face the most significant barriers to getting a paid job and a sustainable career. This figure increases to 65 per cent for those that have been through Project SEARCH programmes.

Robin Hindley, Interim Deputy Principal at CONEL, said: “CONEL is very pleased to be working on this programme with Tottenham Hotspur Foundation and our local hospital, with the support of Project SEARCH. By working together, the young people will receive a greater level of support, allowing them to realise their potential and to be ready to compete with all other applicants for roles at the hospital and beyond.”

Gareth Jones, Equalities and Inclusion Manager, Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, said: “Tottenham Hotspur Foundation has been working with Project SEARCH for the past couple of years to help identify work experience placements and employment opportunities for people with learning disabilities living in the Club’s local community. We are delighted to be working in partnership with North Middlesex Hospital and CONEL to support a new group of young people find meaningful, long-term employment which will help them live independent and fulfilling lives.”

Alfredo Thompson, Director of Workforce Programmes, North Middlesex University Hospital, said: “We are thrilled to welcome the young people to our hospital and look forward to working with them and supporting them throughout the academic year. Project SEARCH is important to us as it’s aligned to our commitment to our local communities, ensures we are an inclusive organisation which provides opportunities for young people across north London.”

The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London is pleased to announce it will be involved in a group-wide campaign to collect warm clothing for the homeless over Christmas.

The initiative, dubbed ‘Winter Wear Drive’, is a Group-wide project arranged by Capital City College Group staff in aid of the homelessness charity Crisis. Capital City College Group encompasses The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London, Westminster Kingsway College and the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London.

Students and visitors are being invited to make clothing donations at the Tottenham Centre’s reception before Friday 20 December. Items you can donate include:

  • Winter jackets and coats
  • Jeans and warm trousers
  • Warm jumpers and sweaters
  • Thermals
  • Scarves
  • Shoes
  • Socks
  • Blankets
  • Towels
  • Winter sleeping bags
  • Personal hygiene items, e.g. deodorant (roll-on) and shaving foam 

Organiser Thomas Blundell said: “We are excited to be able to make the most of the great opportunity we have working for London’s largest college group.

“Having 37,000 students across 11 sites puts us in a unique position to make a real difference to London’s homeless population this Christmas.

“The idea came from Mike Magras, Programme Manager for Additional Learning Support at Westminster Kingsway College’s King’s Cross Centre. We spoke about doing something at that site and soon realised we could replicate the initiative across the whole of Capital City College Group.

“Last year, deaths among homeless people rose 22%. This is a really important, pressing issue, and we’re very grateful for the enthusiastic response we’ve had from staff so far.”

Crisis is a UK charity aimed at helping to rebuild the lives of people affected by homelessness. Offering support, advice and courses across 12 areas in England, Scotland and Wales, the organisation’s Crisis at Christmas campaign asks the public to find ways to support their mission during the coldest months of the year.”

Interim Deputy Principal, Robin Hindley, said: “By contributing back to our community, the staff and students at the college can support their friends and neighbours through this great initiative.”

On Tuesday 3 December 2019, the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London held its annual Excellence Awards. 

Once again, Nims Obunge – Pastor at Freedom’s Ark Church in Tottenham and member of the CONEL Local Advisory Board – was the compere for the evening. He said: “Tonight is about celebrating the fantastic achievements of many of CONEL’s students and apprentices who have worked exceptionally hard over the past year to get the qualifications that they rightly deserve.

“We will also be honouring some of the incredible staff who work tirelessly in the classroom and support our learners, and recognise those who have worked at the college for many years.”

“Alongside our student and staff awards, we will be thanking several of our employer partners who have worked with CONEL to provide hundreds of apprenticeships and work placements each year.”

The awards include the Paul Head Excellence Award (in memory of our former principal), which recognises a learner who has overcome a significant barrier to their learning to succeed. This year’s winner was Creative Media Production Level 3 student, Joe Watson.

Joe Watson being awarded the Paul Head award by Sarah Ebanja
Joe Watson, being awarded the Paul Head award, by Sarah Ebanja

A truly inspirational student, Joe has overcome a number of barriers in his life to successfully pass the first year of his Level 3 Diploma. Brought up in care and living independently at a young age, he has shown huge commitment and enthusiasm during his studies. He demonstrates a real flair and ability to communicate, pitch and develop creative ideas. Joe recently appeared in a video for BBC Bitesize about moving from care into college, and he is also set to feature in a BBC documentary.

CONEL Principal, Kurt Hintz, said “I am enormously proud to be Principal of CONEL, and share in the fantastic achievements of our students, staff and employers tonight, after another truly outstanding year for the college.

“The college has gone from strength to strength since its merger into Capital City College Group, with year-on-year increases in enrolments and an overall pass rate of 94.2% in 2018-19. This year included outstanding results in GCSE Maths where 77% of our adult students achieved high 9 to 4 grades, what was previously A* to C, in their summer exams.

“Since we became London’s First Free College, offering all of our full-time courses at Entry Level to Level 2 free, regardless of someone’s age or income, we have seen more and more people applying and enrolling. Such is the success of this initiative, that it has now been emulated by our sister college, The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London.

“At CONEL, we have also continued offering free short courses across much of our curriculum. These have been a massive success with 48% of students taking these courses going on to study at higher level qualifications.

Musical Performance from The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London, Balloon Sculptures by Capel Manor College
The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London student performs a musical number in front of balloon sculptures by Capel Manor College

“This year the college reached the finals of the Association of Colleges’ Beacon Awards, for its work to support the mental health and wellbeing of its learners and staff. This is fantastic recognition for the work we have been doing here at CONEL.

“CONEL has also recently been awarded £150,000 from the Mayor’s Young Londoners Fund, to invest in a range of programmes to support more than 700 vulnerable teenagers across six London boroughs over the next three years.

“Earlier this year CONEL became one of the first Mayor’s Construction Academy hubs, having been accredited for its high quality training by the Greater London Authority in July 2018. This has resulted in a £300,000 investment in construction training at the college to support the building of several huge multi-million developments across London.

“2019 saw us set up our new Start Up, Step Up London initiative, supported by the Mayor of London, to encourage entrepreneurship in the capital, including workshops, targeted skills training, coaching and mentoring with business and industry experts.

“In March, the college also held a Rail and Engineering apprenticeships and careers day for prospective students and apprentices to hear about what the college offers, and from some of the top employers we run programmes with, including NTAR, Siemens, Bombardier, Alstom, Thales and Eurostar.

“And in July, CONEL celebrated as more than 100 students graduated after successfully completing Higher Education, Access to HE and Teacher Education courses, as well as Advanced and Higher Apprenticeships.

London Ambulance Service receiving their award from Kurt Hintz
London Ambulance Service receiving their award from Kurt Hintz

“Outside the classroom, our Basketball Academy team came fifth out of six teams nationally in the Academy Basketball League and won the Association of Colleges’ National 3on3 Championship and the Community Basketball League, while Jan Szponarski from our Martial Arts Academy became Ultra MMA Boxing Welterweight UK Champion at the first attempt.

“With all these successes in mind, I would like to turn to tonight and congratulate every one of you receiving an award this evening.

“I would like to thank our staff and employers for your hard work, dedication and enthusiasm in supporting our students to fulfil their potential.”

“And of course, I would like to celebrate the success of our students and apprentices who have worked tremendously hard and produced excellent work and attained superb results over the past year. Whether you are continuing your education at CONEL or have now left the college for university or your chosen career, I would like to wish you every success in your future.

“I speak for the Principalship and Governors, when I say we are all immensely proud of your support and achievements.”

Isabella Woodcock, who is studying the Sports Level 3 Extended Diploma at CONEL, is the face of the 2019/20 Tottenham Hotspur marketing campaign.

The opportunity arose for Isabella through contacts that CONEL Football Coach, Josemar Santos, and Head of Sport, Jonathan Silman, have at Tottenham Hotspur. Spurs Supporter Isabella explained, “My coach and I were invited down to Tottenham’s ground to do a workshop where we gave our ideas of what the 2020/21 football kit should look like. We gave some ideas of what colours and designs we thought would look nice.

“After that event, they emailed my coach and asked if I was interested in being in an international advert with Nike and Tottenham. I said ‘yes’ straight away and sent over my details. I then spoke to a Tottenham representative who was my point of contact throughout the photoshoot.”

“I am very thankful that my coach hooked me up with the opportunity to begin with.”

“On the day, we arrived at the stadium and were guided into a room within the stadium, where I got my hair and make-up done and was fed some really nice food. Once I had my hair and make-up done I was given my outfits that I had to change into. I then headed out to the four locations chosen for the photoshoot. I was literally treated like a V.I.P for the day. We had a blacked-out minibus that drove us around Tottenham to the photoshoot locations. All in all it was a six-hour shoot and it was really fun. I made friends with most of the cast and everyone there was lovely!

“It was hands-down one of the best experiences I have ever had. I was treated like an actual model… anything I wanted I got. It was cool knowing what happens behind the scenes and seeing just how long these photoshoots take. There’s more to it than just taking a photo – we had to take photos at certain times, depending on the sunlight and the wind.

“It feels really cool as a Tottenham supporter to be the face of their new kit. I can’t believe my face is everywhere… from the big screens in central London to my photo being on boards in Sports Direct and of course having my face on the massive screen in the Tottenham Hotspur stadium. My face was also on a board inside the shop which was really cool. I guess I’m famous now!”