Campus set to become first ‘dementia friendly’ college in Wales

The Nantgarw campus of Coleg y Cymoedd is on course to become the first ‘dementia-friendly’ college in Wales.

The move was started by college learner Sam Andrews, who was inspired after he completed work experience at the Alzheimer’s Society.

The learner independently launched an action plan to help the college’s canteen, hair and beauty, and customer service departments become dementia friendly.

All staff at the college campus near Pontypridd are now training to be ‘Dementia Friends’.

Operations manager for the Alzheimer’s Society in South East Wales Melanie Andrews said: “It is great to hear of the positive work happening at Coleg y Cymoedd. They are setting a precedent and I hope many more will follow across the country.”

“We want people from all works of life and backgrounds to join the Dementia Friendly Communities movement.”

There are 2,500 living with dementia in Rhondda Cynon Taf, part of the area that Coleg y Cymoedd serves, according to the Alzheimer’s Society.

Almost half the people that suffer from dementia in the UK have said they don’t feel part of the community, according to a recent report by the charity.

Ms Andrews said: “It is good to see how far we have come but unfortunately there are still too many people with dementia who do not feel supported and part of their local area; they feel trapped in their own home, isolated and a burden.”

“Many people with dementia are not able to take part in activities they enjoyed before they developed the condition, they want to engage with society but need support.”

“It is possible to make small changes that will make their day to day lives much better and being able to stay part of the community for longer.” 

Paralympic Gold medal for college alumni

A former college learner has achieved her dream of winning Paralympic gold in javelin at the games in Rio.

Hollie Arnold threw a world record 43.01m to win Paralympic gold in the F46 javelin final.

Hollie is a former learner at the Ystrad Mynach campus of Coleg y Cymoedd, where she studied Sport Development.

Hollie and her family moved to South Wales to enable her to access coaching and take advantage of the high quality sports development opportunities available in Wales.

The 22-year-old, who lives and trains in Cardiff, broke the world record with a throw of 41.68m but broke it again in her final throw to win gold.

Arnold beat New Zealander Holly Robinson and Poland’s Katarzyna Piekart who won silver and bronze respectively.

This has been my absolute dream – I cannot believe I am Paralympic champion and double world champion. It is so surreal

Coleg y Cymoedd Campus Councils

In an exciting new venture Coleg y Cymoedd is introducing Campus Councils on its four campuses in Aberdare, Nantgarw, Rhondda and Ystrad Mynach as a pilot project in 2016-17. The Campus Councils will act as a sounding board for issues, concerns, opportunities and development relevant to Coleg y Cymoedd’s work. 

Campus Council members will advise campus and college managers and make recommendations to the College’s Corporation Board on the development and delivery of the educational provision appropriate to the needs of the learners, industry and the communities served by the college and the strategic priorities of the College.

To ensure local representation and to foster relationships with business, schools, the voluntary sector and the wider public each campus will be represented by a Campus Council to concentrate both business and wider local interests through a committee of select area representatives, thereby allowing matters to be aired, specific to each campus of the college operation, providing for local participation and integration with the wider community.

The Campus Council will:                                                                                    

  • Engage with key groups and receive regular feedback from those groups, working with management to develop collaboration with employers, and ensure effective two-way communication;
  • Consider performance of the Campus site by receiving reports and updates including ones on quality, developments (ongoing and potential), external engagement, the learner voice and community initiatives
  • Liaise with other campus councils and share information and good practice
  • Make informed recommendations regarding the local campus to College managers
  • Champion the local campus in the community.
  • Endeavour to be forward looking and develop opportunities for the local campus.

Campus Councils will meet once per term, and will have 15 members; 9 members will be external to the College. The College plans to recruit Campus Council members who have a keen interest in the role of the College in the community and in particular is looking for people with the experience in business and industry, public services, the voluntary/third sector, schools and education, economic development and regeneration and local expertise of the geographical communities served by the College’s individual campuses.

Vice Principal David Finch said “The College is keen to work more closely with, and be more accountable to, the people, businesses and communities in the areas served by its four campuses. Effective community and business engagement is vital for the College’s future growth and development. Campus Councils will be an innovative way of ensuring that local people have a key role in the use and development of their local campus.”

Anyone interested in applying or finding out more can contact: Michelle Lewis at Coleg y Cymoedd on 01443 653699 or

College learners access the music industry

Coleg y Cymoedd learners to follow in the footsteps of worldwide music celebrities.

Music learners at Coleg y Cymoedd will have the opportunity to study on a new Level 2 Access to Music – Rock School” course which will run at the Nantgarw campus, starting later this month.

The college are the first Welsh college to run the Level 2 Subsidiary Diploma for Practitioners, from a Music Industry based portfolio that has produced some of the biggest names in the charts including Ed Sheeran, Rita Ora and Jess Glynne.

The Access to Music Curriculum was originally run at the Brit School and also includes the Rock School: Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma for Music Practitioners, which the college will deliver at its Rhondda campus. This will allow learners to progress from the Level 2 – one step closer to their dream careers.

All courses will be delivered by Coleg y Cymoedd’s expert music team, Scott Howells, Rory Meredith and Chris Summerill, who have years of experience within the music industry and are still heavily involved in composing, recording and performing; outside of their college work.

As the Music department unveilled this exciting opportunity Scott Howells, Music Tutor at Coleg y Cymoedd, said “We will be offering learners a chance to experience all aspects of the music industry from engineering and recording at our state of the art Recording studios to working alongside emerging Welsh musical talent when organising and running The Valleys Soundfest music festival. We will also be using our music industry links to give the learners a real life experience”.

The course begins on Monday 12th September 2016 so all interested learners need to apply now as places are limited.


Wellington Street
Rhondda Cynon Taff
CF44 8EN


Heol y Coleg
Parc Nantgarw
CF15 7QY


Rhondda Cynon Taff
CF40 2TQ

Ystrad Mynach

Twyn Road
Ystrad Mynach
CF82 7XR

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