Three nominations for Ayrshire College at SQA Awards

Lewis and Ryan McGregor, HND Coaching and Developing Sport graduates.
Lewis and Ryan McGregor, HND Coaching and Developing Sport graduates.

Ayrshire College has been shortlisted in three categories at the SQA Star Awards.

The college has received nominations in the ‘College Candidate of the Year’, ‘Innovation’, and ‘Partnership of the Year’ categories.

An Ayrshire College student has been crowned the best college student in Scotland every year since 2014. Previous winners have all been Sport & Fitness students: Angela Alexander (2014), Stephen Wilson (2015), Natasha Kerr (2016), James O’Neill (2017) and Ross Munro (2018).

Twins Lewis and Ryan McGregor, HND Coaching and Developing Sport graduates, will be looking to continue this incredible streak of success at this year’s ceremony.

Both Lewis and Ryan have recorded an astonishing 1,000+ hours’ worth of volunteering last year, earning them Saltire Awards. The 19-year-olds were recently named the Best Young Volunteers at the Scottish Football Association’s South West Region Grassroots Awards.

The College’s Sport & Fitness department is also behind the Innovation nomination – for its highly successful #PassingPositivity campaign.

#PassingPositivity is a mental health awareness campaign spearheaded by the HND Coaching and Developing Sport students at Ayrshire College, highlighting the benefits that exercise can have on your mental health and wellbeing.

The social media campaign behind #PassingPositivity was heavily backed by celebrities, including footballers Kris Boyd and Chris Sutton, broadcasters Jim White and Hayley McQueen, wrestlers Drew McIntyre, Viper and the late Adrian ‘Lionheart’ McCallum, as well as Outlander actor Steven Cree.

A charity football tournament, multi-sport activity sessions and a mental health conference all ran at Ayrshire College’s Kilmarnock Campus in May 2019 to raise over £1,500 for the Kris Boyd Charity.

The Partnership of the Year award nomination is for Ayrshire College’s Construction Technology & Trades department’s innovative approach to restoring Belleisle Park’s historic walled garden, in partnership with Morrison Construction and South Ayrshire Council.

South Ayrshire Council approached Ayrshire College to assist as an educational partner on the walled garden restoration project. From this enquiry, a full-time Level 5 course was created based at the park, where students would carry out the work required while gaining an SQA qualification in Conservation of Masonry, all while being assessed on-site.

The successful partnership between Ayrshire College, South Ayrshire Council and Morrison Construction has also allowed additional students at the college to receive training at the Scottish Lime Centre Trust.

Morrison Construction were approached and agreed to cover the funding costs associated with the specialist qualifications as part of their Community Benefits programme. They also provided the required personal protective equipment.

South Ayrshire Council funded scaffolding, materials and accommodation for the students on-site for the project, via the Rejuvenation and Restoration plan for Belleisle Park.

Two full-time groups have completed the Introduction to Masonry Repair course, while a new course in Heritage Brickwork Repair started this August.