College in running for national award for carer support project

Abingdon & Witney College have been announced as a finalist at the annual Association of College Beacon Awards, for its specialist course provision and support for carers.

This year, the RCU Award for Support for Students required applicants to have an ‘inclusive curriculum which promotes equality and diversity and includes teaching and learning activities well matched to students’ different needs’, and ensured that students are ‘equipped and empowered to; have a voice, solve their own challenges, make their own choices, and participate in community or society’.

A Carer’s Journey, the project the College put forward for consideration which is run in partnership with Carers Oxfordshire, helps a carer gain confidence in their role as well as offer an opportunity to take time away from this role and access workshops and short courses that are designed to promote their wellbeing.

Every year more than two million people in the UK become carers. One in eight adults in the UK is a carer, although, because many people are looking after family, friends or relatives, they don’t necessarily recognise themselves as a carer.

The project provides a mix of workshops and short courses, with themes including mindfulness, first aid, art for relaxation, and yoga, and learners are free to follow the entire ‘journey’, or to pick and choose courses.

The College will be up against both Chichester College Group and Portland College when the winners are announced.

Jacqui Canton, Principal & CEO at Abingdon & Witney College, said: “We have had a successful track record with the Beacon Awards in recent years and we are absolutely delighted to be an AoC Beacon Award finalist again.

To be recognised for the innovative work we do is testament to the hard work of our staff and students. We are very proud to be leading the way in championing support, wellbeing and learning for the care community – it is more important than ever, during this time of increased uncertainty and pressure the care industry is under, to be able to give something back.”

“The brilliant A Carer’s Journey programme is just one of many initiatives that form our wider commitment to create the best possible learning experience for our students and local community, and provide truly life-changing experiences.”

The Association of Colleges’ Beacon Awards celebrate the best and most innovative practice among UK colleges each year.

They are awarded every year by AoC to provide recognition for excellence and innovation, acknowledging the talents of staff at all levels. They highlight the breadth and quality of education in the college sector.

Announcement dates and more information can be found at:


Abingdon and Witney College is located at three main sites in Abingdon, Witney and Common Leys Farm near Hailey. The College also operates from 2 other permanent bases in Oxfordshire and up to 80 community-based venues each year.
The College recruits students from across Oxfordshire and has 2,000 full time and 10,000 part time adult students each year. It also has a wide range of higher education provision, with over 300 HE students attending each year, and offers high quality and highly regarded apprenticeships.

The College was last inspected by Ofsted in 2017 and was judged ‘outstanding’ for apprenticeships.

Abingdon & Witney College

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