Holocaust Memorial Day Event

On Friday the 20th of January, we hosted an event at our Broadway campus, organised by Lord Austin of Dudley, alongside our Students’ Union and other local organisations to commemorate individuals, families and generations who have been and are still affected by the events of the Holocaust. It was attended by a variety of individuals from the local community, including faith leaders, members of the community and students from across Dudley borough.  

The commemoration involved a variety of speakers in our main hall, where we were joined by special guest and Holocaust survivor Eva Clarke BEM. It was an honour to have her at Dudley College, talking about her story and experience. Eva was born in Mauthausen concentration camp, Austria, on 29th April 1945. She and her mother were the only survivors of their family. 

Students that had taken part in the Holocaust Educational Trust’s project ‘Lessons from Auschwitz’ also spoke about their experiences, with photography students Sarah Ralph & Miah Bryan having been nominated to visit Auschwitz next February by the HET through the project to learn more about the effects of the Holocaust. 

‘Ordinary People’ was the theme for this year’s commemoration; the Holocaust was caused, affected and ended by ordinary people. This theme is to help ordinary people understand how everyone can take action to prevent and challenge situations of prejudice and discrimination today. 

A tree was also planted in Coronation Gardens to celebrate 80 years of the work the Association of Jewish Refugees has been doing, as well as paying tribute to AJR member Fred Austin MBE. This tree was also for Dudley Council to commemorate the work that the Dudley Refugee Committee does to continue welcoming refugees into the local community. 

Students’ Union President, Mollie-Amelia Hehir, said “We are so pleased that once again we can collaborate and highlight the importance of this event to our student members.”

“While the events of the Holocaust cannot be compared to the injustices of today, it is a reminder of the world we live in and we should never be silent upon seeing wrongdoing.”

“The event helps us educate all of our community members and act as a commitment to sharing the legacy of this dark period in history.”

We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone involved in organising the event, with special thanks to our photography students; Beth Hewitt, Josh Harper, Jesse Jewkes, Sarah Ralph, Miah Bryan, Hollie Carrington & Corey Challenger, for capturing the event. 

If you’d like to find out more about Eva and her mother’s incredible story, please visit the link: www.het.org.uk/survivors-eva-clarke 

Higher Education graduation celebrations 2022

Higher Education Graduation 2022 saw family, friends, staff and members of the college’s corporation all came together to share in the success of this year’s graduates. Almost three hundred people gathered on Saturday 26th November to formally recognise the hard work and commitment of learners graduating in over 25 programmes of study. 

David Whatton Chair of the College’s Corporation led the celebrations conferring HNC, HND and raft of professional qualifications on learners in disciplines as diverse as  HNC Computing and HND Animal Management.  

Neil Thomas Chief Executive Officer and Principal of Dudley College congratulated learners for staying the course; recognising many of them persevered with their studies throughout the uncertainty of Covid. Amongst them were a number of college staff who completed their studies in Teaching and Management, whilst also delivering lessons online to their own students.  

A particularly poignant moment in the ceremony came when a posthumous teaching award was presented by Neil, to Gemma and Lucy the wife and daughter of colleague Jeremy Pettifor. Jeremy achieved his ambition of qualifying as a tutor shortly before his tragically early death, this year. Conveying their delight at Jeremy’s memory being honoured in this way, Gemma and Lucy shared their pride in his achievement with everyone present.  

A sincere vote of thanks was given on behalf of all students by Level 4 Mechanical Engineering graduate Noah Megyesi- Schwartz, who admitted he had given his own parents some grey hairs during the last two years, as he struggled to meet the demanding workload higher education entails. But praised the support of tutors who had been instrumental in providing both the support and challenge he needed.  

Fittingly, Georgina Barnard, Managing Director of the Black Country and Marches Institute of Technology conducted the ceremony as the particular contributions of the Universities of Wolverhampton and Worcester, the IoT’s university partners:, was recognised for helping to expand HE opportunities locally and providing pathways to final degree programmes.   

On behalf of every one in attendance Neil Thomas thanked all of the staff who made this a remarkable event for all those involved.  The day ran like clockwork, and from the kind words guests shared with Neil, the day was regarded as a landmark in the lives of both the graduates and their families, one which will be remembered for many years to come.

Photographs from the day can be downloaded and shared from our Higher Awards Ceremony 2022 Flickr album.

Baby bereavement charity receives a helping hand

Local charity Ronnie and Friends. has received a massive boost thanks to the fundraising efforts of  staff and students at Dudley College of Technology and the generosity of  the Saleem Foundation.  As part of activities supporting national Baby Loss awareness week, which ran from the 12th of October learners at the college raised over £850 for the charity in just a week. And a generous donation of £1,000 from the Saleem Foundation has bolstered their fundraising efforts further.

Ronnie and Friends was founded to support Dudley Group NHS Charity Baby Bereavement by College employee Aimee Garratt ,in memory of her son Ronnie. Benefiting from the huge support she received from the trained midwifes and the sanctuary of the specialist bereavement delivery suite at Russells Hall hospital Aimee was motivated to set up her own charity to help other mothers receive the kind of support she valued. Commenting on the fundraising she said:

“After the loss of my baby I wanted to do something to help other people going through this dreadful time and I knew how much the specialist facilities and staff had helped me cope with the trauma of my experience, so it seemed right to try to help the hospital build a second purpose built delivery suite. I’m delighted to have the backing of not only my family and friends but my employer too, in helping the fundraising effort.”  

Through a series of activities involving learners from across the college who ran coffee mornings, offered free beauty treatments in exchange for fundraising donations and a sold raffle tickets with prizes donated by businesses who work with the college, money was collected to support the work of the charity which was founded in 2022.

Praising the generosity of staff and students; Chief Executive and Principal of Dudley College of Technology  Neil Thomas said:

“Ronnie & Friends is one of three charities that the college has chosen to support this year, as it is a cause close to the heart of many. The grief that families feel, and the value of their babies’ lives is often seen to be very private matter and not publicly acknowledged, which is something we wanted to help redress. We have over 500 students studying health and care related programmes and have been able to draw on the expertise of the bereavement team from Russell’s Hall Hospital who have worked with students to educated them about this subject. This year is the 20th anniversary of Baby Loss Awareness week, and awareness raising continues to grow.” 

Director of Human Resources at Dudley College ; Kathryn Jones whose team helped to spearhead the activity said:

“I am aware of a number of our own staff who have been affected by the loss of a child in pregnancy, and it seemed right that we mark Baby Loss Awareness Week in this way. It’s great that over 60 charities in the UK collaborate on this activity to foster wider public understanding and call for tangible improvements in research, care and policy around bereavement support.”  

 After hearing of the fundraising activity, Cllr Shaz Saleem founder of The Saleem Foundation Charity, has also donated a thousand pounds to the cause, which chimed with the Foundations values to support serious causes across the Dudley Borough in a broad range of areas including mental health and wellbeing. Talking about the work of the Foundation he said:

“The Saleem Foundation wants to support grass root groups working at the heart of our community to make life better for our residents. Ronnie and Friends is one such organisation, with a big heart and a clear aim. With the way things are in the world, it’s important to get involved, work together and be united in making positive change. So, I’m delighted we could make this gesture of support.”

Holly Haden specialist midwife and bereavement lead at Dudley NHS Trust received the donation on behalf of Rusells Hall praising the efforts of everyone involved saying:

“One in four pregnancies results in baby loss so, this impacts on hundreds of people every year.  Over 50 families used our specialist suite last year and they tell us it provides some comfort to them. We need to raise £45k to build a second suite and thanks to efforts such as these we are well on our way.”

Anyone wanting to donate to Ronnie and Friends, can do so through their “Just Giving” page at: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ronnieandfriends

Our Evolve Theatre Autumn/Winter Programme is live!

We’re thrilled to release the first edition of our 22/23 Evolve Theatre programme, where you can find out what’s on at Evolve this Autumn/Winter.

Ahead of the release, our Performing Arts Curriculum Manager, Simon Muttitt, told us:

“On behalf of all the students and staff at Dudley College of Technology, I’d like to wish you a very warm welcome to this first edition of our Evolve Theatre Autumn/Winter programme!

Whether it’s musicals, drama, gigs or films, you’re sure to find something in here to keep you, your friends and your family entertained.

Dudley College has a long history of showcasing top-class performances and this new season promises to build upon this legacy to provide you with some of the best entertainment in town.

To reserve your seats for any of these fantastic events, just point your phone at the QR code next to the one you’d like to go to. You can also visit our Ticketsource page directly to purchase your tickets. Once you’ve done this, you can sit back and enjoy the show. See you there!”

You can view the programme below or by visiting here.