As a new academic year dawned, students at West Nottinghamshire College were welcomed back to their studies with a fun-packed welcome week.
A huge range of activities, games and information stalls were organised by the college’s student welfare team and student enrichment team to bring students together for their first week back after the summer holidays.
Students from outlying campuses joined friends at the Derby Road campus to experience a vibrant and sunny first week back, which included physical activities such as the inflatable dart board game, a soft play Sumo wrestling challenge, the pillow fight, balance ladder and bungee run.
For those up for an adrenaline rush and the chance to test their balance and stamina, there was the rodeo bull and surf simulator. It saw the college’s principal and chief executive Andrew Cropley take on the rodeo bull, with him remaining in perfect control for a few seconds!
There was plenty to tempt the tastebuds with food stalls including Project Doughnut, Disco Fries and Mansfield-based Toffee Hut, while music students were there to provide entertainment with live singing and music, as well as a magician performing a range of tricks for the crowds.  People could see themselves in a different light with the artistic talents of professional caricaturist Mick Wright, who produced witty drawings of students.
Health matters were also a focus point for students during Welcome Week. Mansfield-based Pure Gym were available to chat about the options available to students at the Nottingham Road gym. Representatives from Nottinghamshire County Council’s C Card scheme were on-hand to provide confidential advice to students to help them make the right choice about sexual health and how to access the service which provides free condoms and advice on healthy sexual relationships.
White Post Farm staff brought along a selection of animals including a skink, royal python, chickens, rabbits, bearded dragons and a tarantula. The braver students were willing to handle the less fluffy animals and Level 3 animal care students Emmy Howarth and Libby Bird (pictured) showed their professional animal handling skills with the royal python.
Emmy, 17, said: “It’s great to be back and I can’t wait to start my Level 3. At this level I’ll be getting a deeper understanding of caring for animals and learning about their habitats.
“This event has been great because it helps to make people feel less nervous, getting to meet new people and there’s loads of things to do.”
Representatives from the Army joined the event to speak to students about the range of careers available for young people, and members of Nottinghamshire Police attended to highlight their career opportunities and to show students a physical demonstration of how they use riot shields and handcuffs. Students were also able to see a demonstration of the drone technology which the police use for taking photographs of crime scenes, to investigations in rural areas and searching for missing individuals.
A Level students at the newly refurbished Mansfield and Ashfield Sixth Form College in Mansfield’s town centre were also able to enjoy a small selection of the Welcome Week activities on Thursday (9 September).
Friends Amelia Douglas and Tacie Burrows (pictured), both 16, enjoyed the Welcome Week at the sixth form college campus. Tacie said: “We were both at school together and decided to come here because there’s a wider range of courses available. We’re both in the same psychology and health and social care classes together. It’s good being close to the town centre as well and it feels great to be studying somewhere totally different – I think I’m going to enjoy it.”
Vice principal for communications, engagement and student experience, Louise Knott, said: “The Welcome Week was a resounding success and it was lovely to see so many students together having fun after a very challenging 18 months.
“Ultimately, this was a great start to the new college year and helped our students from across all campuses to settle into college life well and have the opportunity to meet with their peers in a fun and relaxed way.
“It also provided the ideal opportunity for us to welcome a number of organisations from across the community including the police, army, local business and local support groups and our learners engaged very confidently with them all.”

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