Trafford College has kick-started the Community College Kitchen program with a networking breakfast. In attendance were the Mayor and Mayoress of Trafford, community partners, dignitaries and local council members, all eager to hear about the exciting partnership.
The event, directed by Assistant Principal Kendra Kirby, gave attendees an insight into how the program came to fruition and their main goals for supporting students in the Trafford community. Kirby described the partnership as a aim to “bridge the social inequality facing students” by providing meals, sanitary products and educational resources to improve their quality of learning.
Mayor of Trafford, Laurence Walsh gave an engaging speech about the importance of social value and how these feed into the objectives of the program.
“The Community College Kitchen is about the local college and community coming together and looking beyond just students attending lectures. It’s about breaking down the barriers so students can reach their true potential, providing them with a nutritional breakfast for example, means a better start to their day, therefore a better start to their studies.”
The origin of the Community College Kitchen was touched on by Michelle McLaughlin, Student Engagement & Learner Voice Lead. She explained how the pandemic meant that students in need, who usually have access to bursaries and free meals, were facing months of little or no support.
“What started as a blanket approach to delivering care packages for students in need, including food and toiletry bags grew into an amazing partnership between Trafford College and the wider Greater Manchester community.”
Attendees also had the pleasure of hearing from Trafford College’s partner Loud Speaker, who offers workshops for students, working to build confidence and improve public speaking skills. A passionate speech was given by Louder Speaker’s Community Director, Oba Akinwale, in which he described the impact that they have on disadvantaged students, by giving them the tools and confidence to go after and take hold of opportunities. Oba believes that “the kitchen aspect of the program is symbolic, as their work starts with the food students are provided but extends into various forms of support”.
This launch event gave the Trafford community and college representatives the perfect introduction to the continuous support that the Community College Kitchen will be offering throughout the academic year.