Festive spirit at Coleg y Cymoedd

A group of kind-hearted learners at Coleg y Cymoedd have been proactive in fundraising for some very worthy local charities.

The group of 30 Public Services learners, studying on the 90 Credit Diploma Public Services course at the Nantgarw campus formed a group to plan, organise and collect food and donations.

Earlier this week, a total of over 100 gift -wrapped Christmas presents were delivered to Rainbow Ward “Latch” at the Children’s Hospital of Wales and Ty Hafan Children’s Hospice, together with food parcels for a number of food banks across the Rhondda Cynon Taff.

A separate collection was also organised to give a donation to Annie’s Rainbow; another charity very close to everyone’s heart at the college.

A spokesperson for the group said” We are really pleased to have been given the opportunity to work on this project. Not only did it enable us to come together as a group to make a difference within our local community, giving people who are either poorly or struggling this Christmas a little something to help cheer them up but, it has also enabled us to develop a wide range of skills such as problem solving, communication, numeracy and teamwork. We hope that our efforts will bring a little happiness into their lives this Christmas

Proud tutor Sue Underwood Gibbs added” What a whirlwind few weeks! From start to finish the learners have been incredible and because of their dedication and hard work they have helped so many families and children at this time of year.  Their commitment of time and energy has made this project a great success.  They should all be very proud of themselves.  

College Support Velindre’s winning Cook Book

A Charity Cook Book which learners from the Hospitality & Catering department at Coleg y Cymoedd were involved with; has been selected to represent Wales in Macau, China next summer. The book will be in the Family and Fundraising category in the ‘Best in the World’ event, at the prestigious Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.

Ceri Harris from Velindre University NHS Trust who led on this project approached the College to seek their help in the development of their new Velindre Patient Cook Book; and were thrilled when they offered their support.

Learners studying at the Nantgarw campus, along with their tutors were keen to get involved with the preparation and testing of the selected recipes dishes for the book. The college’s Creative Industries department also helped with the production photographing the delicious food for inclusion in the Charity Cook Book.

The college has also selected Velindre as one of its charities for this academic year and will be staging a number of fundraising events/activities throughout the year; an example of this was a Gala evening held at the college to thank patients and family members whose recipes are included in the book.

Kevin Hall, Catering and Hospitality lecturer at the College said “The staff and learners at the Nantgarw campus are really pleased to have worked with Velindre to create this exciting new recipe book. We think it is a fantastic project, which will bring together communities, learners and professionals. Food is consumed not just to fulfil hunger; it excites, inspires and promotes the recollection of fond memories and celebrations. This cookbook will allow generations to share their memories and recipes so that they will live on for years to come. I am personally looking forward to testing the chosen recipes, picking up some new ideas and meeting everybody involved for such a great cause.”

Thanking the College Ceri said” This Cook Book has been a labour of love and I’m delighted that it will represent Wales at such a prestigious award ceremony.  I’d like to thank the staff and learners for their support with the cook book and look forward to working with them in the future. Our aim is to sell 1,000 copies of the book by Christmas and raise as much money as we can to help in the fight against cancer”.

The book is on sale for £10 with all proceeds going to Velindre Fundraising. For more information or to obtain a copy of the Velindre Cookbook contact Velindre.cookbook@wales.nhs.uk or https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/VelindreCookbook

Coleg y Cymoedd receives prestigious award from Ministry of Defence

A south Wales college’s commitment to supporting serving and former Armed Forces personnel and their families has been recognised at a national awards ceremony.

Coleg y Cymoedd has received a Silver Employer Recognition Scheme Award from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in celebration of its commitment to the Armed Forces community. It is the first FE college in Wales to receive the accreditation.

The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) rewards and recognises UK employers for their support and commitment towards defence. The award is reserved for organisations that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to defence and the Armed Forces community and align their values with the Armed Forces Covenant.

The award follows a number of policies that have been implemented at the college to encourage the employment of former service men and women, as well as support learners and staff who are seeking to become reservists.

Coleg y Cymoedd currently employs 15 former members of the Armed Forces across a range of departments, including engineering and aerospace, with the college actively working with the military to engage veterans and increase this number in the future.

The award recognised a commitment to upskilling individuals leaving the Armed Forces and the funding that has been made available at the college to support ex-service personnel through training and education; to enable the conversion of any experience or qualifications they gained in the military into a recognised qualification.

The educator is also part of the Armed Forces Pathway Scheme, which is designed to provide the Armed Forces family – Regular, Reserves, youth and veterans – with opportunities to enhance their skills and also give those with an interest in a career in the Armed Forces the chance to learn more about how to gain a foothold.

Judith Evans, Principal at Coleg y Cymoedd said, “We are very proud to have this recognition as supporting the Armed Forces community is something that is very important to us. Those who have joined us following their service to the country bring great value to the college, providing a wealth of knowledge, skills and experience that cannot be overstated.

“Coleg y Cymoedd’s mission is to ensure that all members of our community have access to the education provisions that lead to real opportunities. We are therefore committed to supporting the core values of the military service and helping those entering or leaving the services to achieve the best of their potential.”

As well as assisting ex-military, the college has a dedicated policy in place to encourage and support reservists, offering both staff and learners time and support for their role as well as up to 10 days to cover any leave required to undertake reservist duties.

Earlier this month, members of the Armed Forces visited each of the college’s four campuses in Nantgarw, Ystrad Mynach, Aberdare and Rhondda to speak to learners in all departments about the career opportunities within the Armed Forces, including reservist work and full-time positions. The talks were tailored to different subjects with the army, marrying up its varying departments with the relevant courses, such as bringing down members of its catering team to speak to catering learners.
Following the success of the event, the college will arrange for learners interested in becoming a reservist to visit barracks and take part in work experience with the army to get a feel of what that career would involve.
In January, Coleg y Cymoedd will host a celebratory event for all ex-forces and reservists who currently work or have worked at the college. It will also use the event as an opportunity to hear the thoughts of ex-forces and reservists on what the college can do, to further help, individuals coming out of the army with their transition into employment.

Judith Evans added, “The event is a way of us giving back to our Armed Forces community, acknowledging and celebrating the fantastic contribution that they have made to the college.”

A new Department for International Trade initiative opens doors for Cymoedd learner

Twenty year old Joshua Morgan from Porth enrolled on a Vocational Access course at the Rhondda campus in 2015 and has not looked back. Over the past 3 years he has progressed to his current course – Level 3 Diploma in Business which has opened doors to exciting opportunities.

During his time at the College Joshua successfully applied to attend the International Trade Academy Summer School, an opportunity offered to learners at the college, by the Department for International Trade.

The President of the Board Dr. Liam Fox MP launched the first International summer residential school held in London which offers a unique opportunity for learners to gain an insight into international trade and investment. It also equips learners with useful skills for future careers; and is beneficial to include on CV’s when applying for jobs.

During the action packed event, Joshua heard from high profile international trade experts, met successful business leaders and engaged with senior government officials. He was also part of the winning team in the ‘Apprentice style’ Export Challenge and was awarded the Department of Trade ‘coin’ and certificate; one of only 15 people to have received this coin.

As alumni of the International Trade Summer School, Joshua was recently invited to attend Swansea University, as an ambassador, to share his experiences with other learners. In addition, the Secretary of State for Wales, the Rt. Hon. Alun Cairns MP requested to meet with Joshua to discuss his time on the national Trade Academy Programme.

Speaking of his involvement with the National Trade Academy Programme Joshua said” I am thrilled and humbled to have acted as an ambassador for the project at Swansea and talked to some of the students about my experience on the programme. I was able to advise them on how to pitch their products to the judges. I learnt so much from the programme and have to thank Rhian Morris, my tutor, for signposting me to this marvellous opportunity. I was excited to meet the Rt. Hon Alun Cairns to speak to him about the programme”.

Joshua’s tutor Rhian Morris added “The department at the Rhondda campus are extremely proud of Joshua’s achievements. He has made excellent progress both personally and academically since enrolling at the college and has obviously impressed those running the programme with his skills. He was chosen as an ambassador for the programme, which requires the qualities to work as part of a team. Meeting the Secretary of State for Wales will always be a day for Joshua to remember. We wish him all the best for his future career and involvement with the International Trade Programme”.


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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