Freshers' Week 2012
Posted on Thursday 11 October 2012
What a week that was!
Abi Tinkler, Volunteering and Enrichment Co-ordinator, enthused that “so much of what makes Farnborough Sixth Form and its students brilliant was on show this week”. There were scores of enrichment activities on offer, alongside 150+ volunteering opportunities with more than 50 diverse organisations present. In addition, there were regular entertainment events celebrating our fantastically talented students, and crazy charity days that raised money for both national and local charities. Events happened throughout the week and here are just some of the highlights:
Tuesday saw hundreds of students gathering in Cafe Direct to watch the first ‘Live Lunch’ of the year, showcasing students’ musical talents on stage in front of their peers. Student Association Performing Arts Officer Indeera Shankla was impressed with what she saw: “It was great to have so many really talented acts wanting to perform and brilliant to have such a big crowd there to support them”.
Wednesday saw the ‘invasion of the onesies’ as our students dressed in some very bizarre nightwear for the annual Pyjama Day in order to raise funds for Jeans for Genes. Students could either get snuggled up and cosy throughout the day with delicious hot chocolate being served by the Student Association, or get rid of all that stored up energy in a pillow fight! SA Charities Officer, Oli Cole was thrilled with the £1538 raised on the day: “It was amazing that all the students came together to raise so much for a really worthwhile cause and had such a great time doing it”.
Thursday dawned bright and sunny for the Annual Freshers’ Fair attended by various local and national charities, not for profit and voluntary groups such as Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Charity; Parkside Mencap; Norwood; Rushmoor Voluntary Services; Parity for Disability; Wokingham Mencap; The Gaming Zone; The Source; Step by Step; Citizens Advice Bureau; Surrey Youth Focus; Samaritans and Parent Action Group.
Various care organisations including Family Resource Centre, Solent Health, Ticehurst Nursing Home, Brendoncare Care Homes, Frimley Park Hospital, NE Hants Drugs & Alcohol and St John’s Ambulance were in attendance.
Amongst the many prizes and gifts awarded to the students by attending organisations, Natasha Hedges, a first year student at the College won 10 hours free driving tuition, worth £280. Presenting Tasha with her prize, Rob Tillier from Accelerate Driver Training, said he was “delighted with the success of such a well organised event”.
The emergency services were also well represented and we are particularly grateful to Hampshire Fire Service for safely cutting two of our students, Elinor Doughty Danielle Hearn, from a wrecked car (don’t panic! It was all part of a demonstration of what happens when the Fire Service are called, all too often, to road traffic accidents).
In addition, around 50 student led enrichment groups such as The Environmental Society, Debating Club, Politics Society, Chess Club, PPE, Sociology Society, Geography Society, Ghana Link, Students’ Association, Cheerleading, Christian Union, Creative Writing, MedSoc, Law Society, Triathlon Group were also canvassing at the event. Christine Eustace, Lead Tutor for Community Engagement, was “thrilled that the event, aimed at encouraging first year students to volunteer and get involved, to make a difference in their local communities, and to broaden their academic horizons, was so well supported both by students and all of the organisations who took the time out of their busy schedules to join us”.
College Principal, Simon Jarvis, summed the week up as “representing - once again - our long standing commitment to community engagement as well as a fantastic opportunity to raise our students’ awareness of chances to develop as more rounded citizens”. About 1600 students attended the Fair which has become a firm fixture in the College’s enrichment calendar.
This incredible week was rounded off by the annual Freshers’ Party held at the newly refurbished Wonderland nightclub in Basingstoke and attended by more than 1000 students. Two of our very own students, Jazz Rihal and Matt Rothwell, joined the club’s DJs pumping out some amazing sounds to a packed dance floor. Andy Linton, Lead Tutor for Student Liaison, reflected on “a fantastic evening where everyone just relaxed and enjoyed themselves after a really busy first few weeks at College.”