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Crawley students dominate regional Skillweld competition

Crawley College students took the top three places at this year’s South East regional Skillweld competition.



Crawley College students took the top three places at this year’s South East regional Skillweld competition.

Joe Cullip, a second year apprentice, took first place at the competition, which was held at the college on Thursday 6 June.

Joe said:

“Today has been overwhelming, it’s been a tough day and very nerve-wracking with lots to do in a short amount of time!

“I’m over the moon with this achievement, it’s probably up there as my best.

“I would like to thank the Crawley College lecturers in the welding department as they have been a fantastic help and I would also like to thank my company, Prater Ltd, for giving me this opportunity.”

Bradley Hamilton, a level 3 student, and Chris Myburgh, a first year apprentice, came second and third respectively.

The awards were presented by Skillweld co-ordinator Stephen Haymes, who was joined by Jo Chapel – Head of Learning at Crawley College.

Five other finalists from the college also had their work taken for testing by the competition sponsors, Code-A-Weld, due the quality of their work.

Welding Lecturer Mark Lewis said:

“The students all felt the competition had challenged them, and they all felt they had raised their game to meet this.

“They all conducted themselves in a highly professional manner, and represented the department fantastically.

“The judges remarked on how good the quality of the work produced was, and thanked the college for their hospitality and the long-standing support the college has provided in the competition.”

Joe will now wait to see if his score will see him through to the national finals, which will be held in Birmingham in November.


Crawley College ‘honoured and humbled’ by special visit from children of Chernobyl

It’s the simplest things that can put the biggest smiles on children’s faces.



That was the lesson for healthcare and childhood studies students at Crawley College last week, as they discovered when they spent a morning with children from Chernobyl.

The students entertained the children, aged from seven to 12, with a number of hands-on activities – from painting to football – and in return were treated to beaming smiles, hugs and songs.

Every year, the children affected by the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster visit Sussex for four weeks as a respite break thanks to the charity ‘Friends of Chernobyl’s Children’.

And for the past seven years, students and staff at Crawley College have been working with the charity – providing fun activities as well as fundraising support.

Last year the college raised more than £1,800 for the charity – enough to sponsor two boys to come to the UK this summer.

Lecturer Kirsty Robinson has spearheaded the college’s involvement since 2012. She said:

“Although it has been more than 30 years since the Chernobyl disaster, it still has a massive impact on families from the area.

“For some, they have suffered health problems but many families live in abject poverty as a result of the disaster. The area has never recovered economically and it is hard to imagine what life is like for these children.

“For us, it is humbling. For our students, they have an opportunity to learn about the children and how their lives can be transformed.

“We have the honour and privilege of meeting some truly special young people. It is remarkable.”

Crawley College student Shannon Wilson added:

“I think we all enjoyed the morning with the children from Chernobyl.

“I’ve learnt a lot and I have a lot more knowledge and understanding about how they live, but they are still so happy. I think it puts a lot of things into perspective.”

Sheila Nash is the co-ordinator the Mid-Sussex group for the Friends of Chernobyl’s Children.

She said:

“All of us involved with FOCC Mid Sussex are really grateful for the wonderful support the Crawley College staff and students have given us over the years – both the fun activities they provide for our kids each summer and the amazing fundraising effort last year, which will more than pay for our little twins’ visit this summer and some towards the next year.

“It’s so good that both our children and the Crawley students benefit so much from the link we have created.”

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