Morley College London’s commitment to its local communities over lockdown has been highlighted by a prestigious national further education award.
The college was this week shortlisted in the “Contribution to the Local Community” category of the 2021 Times Education Supplement (TES) Further Education Awards. These awards seek to recognise individuals and institutions in the Further Education sector.
Morley’s nomination focused on the following projects during the past year:
Read: PPE Factory at the Chelsea Centre for the Creative Industries
Read: Green For Grenfell at the North Kensington Centre
Read: VIP Singers at the Waterloo Centre
From Grenfell Tower survivors in North Kensington to community learners in Waterloo, from those working on the Covid frontline in Chelsea to staff whose morale is key to being able to continue to serve the educational needs of Londoners, Covid-19 has challenged those communities in unprecedented ways.
College principal Dr. Andrew Gower said: “Being shortlisted for this award is a valued vote of thanks for the fantastic impact achieved by all those involved at a hugely challenging time, in support of the diverse range of communities we serve through our college centres in North Kensington, Chelsea and Waterloo.”
Chair of Governors Dr. Stuart Edwards said: “Morley seeks to be a force for good in the communities we serve. I am delighted at this recognition of the outstanding efforts of staff and volunteers. In this most difficult of years, it was particularly pleasing that we could help a local NHS partner at their hour of need. Setting up a PPE factory overnight to produce over 30,000 gowns at our Chelsea Centre for the Creative Industries was an amazing achievement. Seeing a prize-winning photograph of one of the PPE volunteers in the Queen’s Speech struck home the significance. This was Morley at its best, serving its local community through the practical artistic endeavours in which the college specialises, but in ways that could not have been previously imagined.”
Joe Newman, whose photographic work showing Morley’s PPE project was displayed in the National Portrait Gallery, said: “Documenting the pandemic as a photojournalist has been a mix of surreality and misery. But after coming across the work done at Morley College London I found a light at the end of the tunnel. Seeing many members of the community coming together and helping produce thousands of pieces of PPE for a local hospital was impressive. I knew this was something I had to document and show to the country the great work the volunteers and Morley have done to help the local community combat COVID 19.”
Morley College North Kensington Principal Craig Hanlon-Smith said: “This is a pivotal point for us at the North Kensington Centre, not only in terms of the physical renovation of our facilities but also to reach out to the local community and to be a place for them of learning, sharing and friendship as the Grenfell tragedy recovery continues. It is wonderful to have Morley Heart Gardens as a quiet place of reflection but to also see the garden planted by community members, continue to grow and flower alongside our new college and its local community. This is just the beginning.”
Community Learning Project Manager Marianne Fenney, who supervised the VIP Singers at the Waterloo Centre, said: “Lockdown could so easily have impacted negatively on the wellbeing of this visually impaired group. Instead, the commitment of the tutor and the resilience of the amazing VIP Singers has been absolutely inspirational. They have brought so much joy to so many people.”