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Celebration lunch to thank college’s community partners

Reading College hosted a celebration lunch on 13 June to thank hardworking partners who keep the community healthy and safe.

Guest speaker, Baroness Pidding, joined representatives from partners including Thames Valley Police, the Royal Berkshire Hospital and 7th Battalion the Rifles, for this year’s event.

The lunch was organised by Services to the Public students to thank guests for their support and assistance in a wide range of college activities; from drill practice and major incident planning with the armed forces, to caring experience with older people from Reading firm Real Care + Ltd.

Students talked about their challenges, successes, and career aspirations. Hospitality and Catering students were in charge of the buffet and drinks.

Baroness Pidding, who has visited Reading College before, said:

“There was such a positive vibe when I came last time and I was blown away with the facilities here. I was also impressed that students run this kind of event.”

When asked about why their partnership with the college is important, Major Sartaj Singh Gogna of the Army Youth Outreach Team said:

“It enables us to engage with young people so that they understand the role and purpose of the army in society, dispel myths and help them to maximise their potential. Through team work, we can help them to develop their communication, leadership and decision making skills, which are all vital for a successful career.”

Pam Hobbs, from St Luke’s Care Home, added that the college’s work placement students bring “fresh energy and ideas. Our residents love to speak to someone young and enthusiastic.”

Salwa Boon, Director for Curriculum Design and Delivery at the Services for the Public faculty said:

“We are grateful for the practical opportunities partners provide for our learners to experience the world of work. Work experience placements put theory into practice and support young people to develop a whole range of employability skills and personal attributes.”

Students like Katie Mollentze, who is studying Uniform Public Services, mingled with guests. Katie said that the college had been really “supportive” with her career goal of joining the Fire Service, and she is hoping to gain further qualifications here before going on to university.