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Head of Campus - Student Experience at Merrist Wood College

Laura Asbridge

A warm welcome back to the second Head of Campus - Student Experience update.  

This week has been a week of changes, as the weather became colder, the news of a tighter lockdown also descended upon us. As the Autumn arrives and the leaves take on their autumn plumage, I can really say that Merrist Wood College is embracing our value of ‘transformative’. With the increased learners on site, lots of our environment is being transformed and revitalised, as students work hard to complete projects, from painting and building new animal enclosures to planting up new flower beds.  

A campus update  

Our Christmas Shoebox Appeal has gone from strength to strength. Through the generosity of staff, students and local businesses, we will be able to a provide range of exciting Christmas boxes to many vulnerable learners.  

Due to a reduction in customers at our two onsite cafes, we have had to temporarily shut our courtyard cafĂ©. However, catering staff have risen to the challenge and now offer of an even wider selection of hot baked goods, ensuring that all students and staff have access to hot food and drinks after a cold day working outside. 

This year we welcomed over 200 more learners than previous years. This increase in the student population has allowed us to employ a wide range of expert teachers, all of whom come from industry and bring with them current practice in areas such as agriculture, animal behaviour, garden design, arboriculture, horticulture and landscaping. 

We have introduced BorrowBox, a digital app offering learners access to a wide range of audiobooks. To start using BorrowBox, you need to register, then simply download the app from your app store, select 'Activate Learning Group' when prompted and sign in with your Activate Learning credentials. It really is as simple as that.   

Future plans at Merrist Wood College 

Following the merger with Activate Learning, Merrist Wood College continues to improve the college facilities. In the new year, we will be welcoming in a new HE and adult learning centre, a wider range of animals including rare breeds, new wifi and IT facilities, as well as rectifying historical heating and electrical problems. The future looks both warm and bright.   

Keep a look out for our new suite of free and costed courses. We have an addition 30 new courses which will start in January, all designed for adults looking to change professions, who are not in employment, feeling isolated, carers, over 65+ or just looking to start a new hobby.   

The UCAS deadline is fast approaching on 15 January 2021, and our Careers team is still offering 15-minute sessions to review personal statements before submission.   

Laura Asbridge 

Head of Campus – Student Experience at Merrist Wood College 

COVID-19 update

We are changing the way that we inform you about COVID-19 cases on campus as we recognise that people might want to be able to access the information for themselves, rather than relying on us sending the information to you. We will now be updating our COVID-19 pages to show you the total number of cases by campus and the number of cases in the past week, broken down by staff and student.