Our News

25 February 2013

Cardiff and Vale College staff get connected with the community

Cardiff and Vale College has hosted a speed networking event where staff could get to know and share ideas with community and voluntary groups from across the capital region.

Speed networking provides quick, focused opportunities for people to generate new contacts and ideas for collaboration.  With over sixty attendees and fifteen partner organisations primarily from the voluntary sector, were invited to the event, where College staff from across academic faculties and departments could meet them, enabling the College to foster links with partners to match the needs of students with the aspirations of the College’s partners.

The event proved an excellent opportunity for the local third sector and College to discuss different ways they could work together to provide the best opportunities for the Cardiff and Vale Community. The visitors could also explain to staff what they do and how they could support students, staff, the curriculum and the College as a whole.

One of the organisations that attended the event, held in the College’s Drama Studio in Trowbridge, was UNA Exchange, a charity that supports international volunteering work for young people.

UNA Exchange Programme Manager Helen Wales said: “There are lots of different people here and it’s good to meet people from all over the College who you wouldn’t normally or easily get in touch with. It’s quite hard to get hold of Heads of Faculties or to know who the right person is to contact at the College, so this event is a good way of overcoming that barrier. We want to find ways of getting information about what we do to more young people in Cardiff, especially people who tend not to think about engaging with volunteering.”

STTEPS is a Cardiff-based organisation that provides support and temporary accommodation to young people who are at risk of becoming homeless. Sally Milton, Director of Support Services at STTEPS, said: “This is an amazing idea. We put people into College so being able to see people and put faces to names is brilliant for us.”

“I’m enjoying the event today,” Mike Bendell, CEO of Vale-based multimedia and young people’s organisation Vibe Creative, said. “Talking to people from different College departments working across Cardiff and the Vale is of particular interest to us. We hope to work with the College with early leavers so I’m excited about today and have been finding it very useful.”

Dave Brown of the Cardiff and Vale Credit Union said: “It’s a great opportunity to raise awareness of what Cardiff Credit Union offers – anything that helps us promote general awareness is always good. It’s a very easy, flexible approach and I’m really enjoying it and there are a good number of people around to engage with. There has been a lot of interest in what we do and is of interest to staff and students so the event has been very successful.”

Teresa Chard, Co-ordinator of the vocational organisation Vision 21’s Gift Shop, added: “The day has gone really well and we hope that this is the beginning of making much better links with the College and the people we help as an organisation.”

Wayne Carter, Cardiff and Vale College’s Social Engagement and Community Collaboration Manager, said he was very happy with the results of the Speed Networking event.

“The event was a huge success and is a first for the College which is striving to be at the centre place within the community,” Wayne said. “The diversity of partners in attendance and the enthusiasm shown amongst staff of working collaboratively can only provide benefits to our learners, our partners and our communities.  

“The challenge will be managing the information collated, managing the relationships between partners and staff, and managing expectations of all who attended.  Strong foundations have been laid and there is great potential and appetite to grow sustainable partnerships with the third sector”