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South & City College Birmingham - 7inSevenSouth and City College has been proud to support the biggest cycling event to be held in Birmingham, which came to an end last weekend [Sunday 29 Sept] when hundreds of cyclists pedalled into Centenary Square after collectively cycling over 60,000 miles.

The 7inSeven Challenge was a series of cycle related initiatives to raise money for local charity Help Harry Help Others. The college supported the challenge with over £15,000 of funding, which included donations, sponsorship, media support and more.

The college got involved in a variety of ways:

  • Harry Training Hubs – the college raised £300 by holding 'Harry Training Hubs' across the college's campuses. Staff and students got pedalling on exercise bikes and contributed a mile to the initiative's 77,777-mile target, making a donation each time.
  • Principal on the Road - the college's principal Mike Hopkins is a keen cyclist and joined the team cycling the final three days of the challenge, from Eindhoven in Holland back to Birmingham.
  • A BSKYB Celebrity Charity Golf Day was held at the Marriott Forest of Arden Golf Club, with a special Harry Training Hub. Kriss Akabusi, Gary Shaw, Chris Nichol, Phil DeFreitas and many more former stars of sport got on the bikes and cycled a mile for Harry. £3330 was raised on the day.
  • On Tuesday 24 September, the college hosted an InBusiness event where Principal Mike Hopkins challenged staff and students to beat him over a mile sprint on the bikes. Birmingham's Lord Mayor, Councillor Mike Leddy attended, having a shot at racing Mike. Mike remained un-beaten and the evening raised over £400.
  • Student Media Support – to support the challenge, and to provide students with excellent hands-on experience – a key remit of the college, a media team from the college travelled alongside the challenge to capture the events on camera and film, sending footage and photos back to the local media and creating films to document the highs and the lows of the challenge.
  • The college were part of Bringing the Bike Back Festival on Sunday 29 September which was organised by Birmingham City Council to welcome the cyclists back. Over £200 was raised from the college stand and bus service back to the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.

Principal Mike Hopkins said: "Being part of the 7inSeven Big Bike Ride was an amazing experience for a fantastic cause. I couldn't fail to be impressed by what the other riders achieved – many had limited cycling experience and went through pain and discomfort but all the time remained positive and committed to completing the challenge and raising money for Help Harry.

"Both personally and as a college we've had an ongoing commitment to supporting charities and raising money, in particular Help Harry Help Others which our staff and students have been dedicated to raising money for over the past couple of years.

"I hope that the college has helped Help Harry Help Others in a small way to reach their target so they can continue their excellent work."

Ben Wilkins, a student who travelled with the team as part of the college media crew, said: "Being part of the media team on the 7inSeven challenge was a great experience. I was able to really test my skills in photography and filming and I can see how I am improving. Getting the chance to be part of trips like this not only gives you on-the-job experience but also increases future opportunities. Through the college I have been able to take part in many projects and on each one I have gained new skills and experiences that will help me in my career in creative media."

Challenge cyclist Tim Andrews and event organiser said: "To complete the 7-in-Seven Big Bike Challenge feels absolutely fantastic. We were overwhelmed at the amount of support we received from the people of Birmingham, they really did themselves proud by taking part in the initiatives and helping to fundraise. Hopefully everyone will continue the hard work and keep up the cycling now they realise how much fun it can be."

Georgie Moseley, mother of Harry Moseley and founder of Help Harry Help Others, said: "The dedication the team showed in completing this challenge was overwhelming. All money raised will contribute to helping families through the tough times that they go through when someone has cancer.

"It is through events like Big Bike and the generosity of the public donating money that Help Harry Help Others is able to continue it's work in the community. Thank you to everyone involved in supporting our charity."

Tuesday, 01 October 2013 10:31

Staff Member Wins Community Award

South & City College Birmingham - Staff Member wins Community AwardSouth and City College Birmingham staff member Mohammed Zafran has been awarded the Community Award in the Birmingham Sports Awards 2013.

Alongside his job at the college where he has worked for ten years, Mohammed - known as Zaf, voluntarily runs a series of sports programmes for young people who have become disengaged with their community.

The company, All 4 Youth and Community is a sports academy which has touched the lives over 6000 young people, helping them to get back in to education through sports, and steering them away from a live of drugs, crime and trouble.

With around 200 volunteers helping him, Zaf runs sports academies, sports teams and coaching sessions in football and cricket.On winning the award, Zaf said: "This Award means the world to me as it acknowledges not just myself but the people I work with; South and City College, user groups, councillors, West Midlands Police. I would like to dedicate this award to all the youths who made this possible. I hope that this might inspire a lot of people who do this type of work and give them the motivation.

"It was the first year of the Birmingham Sports Award so it is a pleasure and an honour for me to have been nominated and to actually win it the Community category."My future ambition is to make All 4 Youth & Community the biggest Youth Company in Birmingham, and get all the youths across Birmingham who are not in education on to a course at South and City College."

Zaf was presented with the award on the 19 September by Craig Phillips and Clayton Blackmore, and sponsors from Virgin Trains.

Carpentry Students at South & City College BirminghamCarpentry students at South and City College Birmingham have been chosen by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham to measure up and make a new specially commissioned wooden Mace stand.

The bespoke stand will house the Lord Mayor's Mace - a replica of that in the House of Commons with a gold sovereign piece in the base. The stand has been commissioned to house the Mace when on display as a centre piece during special events and in the Mayor's Parlour.

The Lord Mayor Cllr Mike Leddy recently visited the college's construction centre in Bordesley Green and saw and was very impressed by the workmanship of items on display by students - and favoured this over work by established carpentry companies.

Three students on the Extended Diploma in Carpentry Level 3 course will create the bespoke Mace holder. The students have today [Wednesday 11 September] visited the Mayor at his offices in Birmingham to measure up the Mace, which is solid silver plated in gold. They will now design a stand and will present their designs to the Mayor in a few weeks. Once the design has been approved, the students will get to work creating the bespoke item.

Mike Hopkins, principal of South and City College said: "We are delighted to be working with the Council to produce a bespoke Mace stand for the Lord Mayor.

"This is an excellent opportunity for our carpentry students to work on a very prestigious project and it will give them great experience in working on a high profile bespoke item. I am looking forward to seeing the finished project, and I'd like to thank the Council and Lord Mayor Cllr Mike Leddy for giving our students the chance to develop and show off their carpentry skills."

Samantha Morris, one of the carpentry students working on the project said: "It is really exciting to get to work on a high profile project like this. I'm on an advanced carpentry course and have been learning and perfecting skills in complex roofing, project management and using woodwork machinery - making the mace stand will require using all these skills so it is great experience and perfect to put in my portfolio and on my CV."

The Mace was presented to the Council in 1897 by Elkington Co as a gift to mark Queen Victoria's 60 years reign and the new status of Birmingham with the office of Mayor becoming Lord Mayor. The ceremonial Mace is a highly ornamented staff of metal or wood, carried before a sovereign or other high official in civic ceremonies by a Mace-bearer, intended to represent the official's authority.

The Mace, as used today, derives from the original mace used as a weapon. Processions often feature maces, as on parliamentary or formal academic occasions.

Mohammed Zafran - South & City College BirminghamSouth and City College Birmingham Security Guard Mohammed Zafran, known best as Zaf, has been shortlisted for a Community Award in the prestigious Birmingham Sports Awards 2013.

Zaf runs a series of sports programmes for young people who have become disengaged with their community. With around 200 volunteers helping him, he run sports academies, sports teams and coaching sessions in football and cricket, and has helped over 6000 youngsters take part in sport.

Zaf started his first football team as a direct result of his brother in law being tragically stabbed in a Birmingham park. Zaf didn't want this to happen again, and spoke to the youngsters who had little motivation and who spent their time on the streets and in the parks causing trouble.

Zaf said: "The reason I started doing what I am doing was to make sure all the youths who are not in education and are involved in drugs and crime have a platform to get back into education. Sport was perfect for this, and I have been supported by the college principal Mike Hopkins, and many other members of staff including Sardul, Naz, John Hillen, Rawait, Tom Mcgeever, Loris, Brett O' Reilly, Ross Page – we are all working together to lead the youths coming back to education.

"Our scheme has helped many young people in the Birmingham area. They can get involved in cricket, football, boxing, mixed martial arts, community events, music and arts festivals. We've managed to engage so many people by working with other groups; Chance to Shine, Small Heath Tigers Football Club, Bromford Boxing Club, Job Centres, West Midlands Police, Councillors etc. They have all helped me with various sporting activities and community festivals.

"Our youngsters have managed to get in to competitive football and cricket leagues. They have got on to courses at South and City College Birmingham. We have even managed to find them jobs at football grounds and cricket grounds as stewards.
"I am pleased about the award nomination as it will inspire more young people to help out in the community, not for the sake of an award but for the nature of the work they do and being recognised for it."The Birmingham Sports Awards 2013 presentation will be held on 19 September 2013.

If you are interested in joining one of Zaf's sports schemes, contact him on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013 14:56

College supports 7inSeven charity challenge

7inSeven - South & City College BirminghamSouth and City College Birmingham are supporting Birmingham's 7inSeven challenge, which aims to get people in Birmingham on their bikes, raise money for charity and sees cyclists travel through seven countries in seven days on bike.

The ambitious initiative has seven challenges and aims to get over 10,000 people to collectively cycle 77,777 miles, encourage Birmingham to consider the bicycle as an alternative mode of transport, raise over £100,000 for the Help Harry Help Others charity as well as including an epic bike ride from Zurich to Birmingham.

The college, which regularly raises money for Help Harry Helps Others is a key sponsor of the challenge, and will be supporting and assisting the challenge in a variety of ways:

• Student Media Support – to support the challenge, and to provide students with excellent hands-on experience – a key remit of the college, a group of media students from the college will be travelling alongside the challenge from day one to capture the events on camera and film, sending footage back to the local media and creating a film to document the highs and the lows of this epic challenge.

• Harry Training Hubs – the college will be holding 'Harry Training Hubs' across the college's campuses during the week of the core challenge [23-29 September]. Staff and students are being invited to donate to the challenge by cycling a mile on exercise bikes and contribute a mile to the initiative's 77,777-mile target.

• Principal on the Road - the college's principal Mike Hopkins is a keen cyclist and will be joining the team to cycle the final three days of the challenge, from Eindhoven in Holland to help raise £100,000 for the charity.

• Homecoming - the college will be attending the homecoming bike festival in Centenary Square Birmingham on 29 September organised by Birmingham City Council to welcome the riders back in to Birmingham.

• Get down to Business – the college will be holding a reception for InBusiness members on 24 September, who will get the chance to 'challenge the Principal' on an exercise bike at our Digbeth campus - pledging funds for the cause which will further raise the profile of the 7inseven challenge and the 'bring back the bike to the city' initiative.

Mike Hopkins said: "We are excited to be a main sponsor of this exciting challenge. As a keen cyclist I wanted to get involved and take part in the challenge myself, but it is also a great opportunity for the college to get involved as a whole. Media students travelling with the riders will gain invaluable on-the-job experience and students back at the college will be able to take part and help raise money too. At the college we believe in always reaching for the moon, and this challenge is doing just that. Good luck to everyone taking part."

Tim Andrews, managing director of Hollywood Monster and event organiser, said: "Thanks to South and City College for their great support.
"I think the media students will get some great experience and they document our highs and lows on the core challenge and I hope staff and students will get on board with the Harry Training Hubs that will be at the college centres during the week. Perhaps they will be competing against each other to donate a mile to this great cause!"

South & City College Birmingham - Hair & BeautyTwo students at South and City College Birmingham have fought off hundreds of competitors to nail themselves a place in the World Skills finals.

The two beauty therapy students took part in the regional World Skills UK Nail Art Advanced Competition in June.

Student Hena Mohammed who came first in the West Midlands regional competition and Kerry Wilkes who came second will be competing against some of the UK's most highly skilled individuals to see who will be crowned 'best of the best'.

Hena, Kerry and the rest of the team worked incredibly hard with the help of their tutor Lyndsey to prepare for the June competition and intend to continue to work hard in preparation for the national heats which are taking place at the NEC, Birmingham in November.

This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to shine on a national level and both students are relishing the challenge.

Hena said: "I am so pleased with my achievements especially as I worked very hard and I have been rewarded for the commitment I gave to the competition. I am looking forward to the national competition and will again put in every effort. I would like to encourage all students who are interested in taking part in competitions that to achieve they must be willing to work long and hard."

Kerry said: "I'm really chuffed that after all my efforts and achievements I am being given the chance to take part in the national advanced competition, I plan to start creating ideas from now and hope that my efforts will be rewarded again."

Sukaina Walji, Assistant Director for Beauty, Holistics and Retail at the college said: "The College is so proud of our students efforts and achievements; they have worked so incredibly hard and deserve this opportunity to compete with the 'best of the best'. I also want to congratulate the other members of the nails team who competed in June and who were also acknowledged and recognised for their efforts and achievements in such a competitive environment."

Tuesday, 02 July 2013 13:33

College supports Footsteps for Harry

Footsteps for Harry - South & City College BirminghamSouth and City College Birmingham has supported local charity Help Harry Help Others in launching a new national scheme that sends unwanted shoes to Africa.

Staff and students from the college and primary school children from Norfolk House School, alongside TV presenter Ben Shepherd and Georgie Moseley, attended the launch of the scheme Footsteps4Harry which was held at the college's Digbeth Campus on 27 June 2013.

The school pupils and students loaded the first pairs of shoes onto a BCR Global Textiles lorry to start their long journey to Africa. They each tied a label to their donated pair of shoes with a personal message for the new owner who receives them in Africa.

Footsteps4Harry aims to collect 60,000 pairs of shoes a year that youngsters have grown out of and send them to impoverished communities in West Africa. For every pair of shoes that are donated, the charity gets 35p towards their goal of finding a cure for brain cancer, and to support children and their families who are affected by cancer.

South and City College Birmingham, who have nominated Help Harry Help Others as their charity, are supporting the new scheme to help give it a head start across the region and have shoe bins in each of their campuses across the city where people can drop off their unwanted shoes.

Other schools, colleges, companies and families from across the UK are being urged to get involved, and to donate their old but functioning footwear. Shoe bins can be ordered online for schools and workplaces, or alternatively you can find your closest existing bin by visiting

Georgie Moseley, Harry's mum said: "I am, and will always be, so proud of what Harry achieved and how many people he helped. So much of what he did was about trying to inspire other school children to do just a little bit more to help others, and Footsteps4Harry is a great way for schools and children alike to help those people here at home, and around the world, to face the battles they fight every day knowing that there are others out there thinking of them."

Adam Rickitt who is the CEO of the charity added: "Footsteps4Harry is an amazing way for children, at very little effort or cost, to be able to help those people who are sadly suffering. It allows them to see just how much difference they can make to those around them, and will hopefully encourage them to follow in Harry's footsteps."

Ben Shepherd who attended the event said: ""Harry was such a special boy...a inspiration and one of the kindest souls I have ever known. This initiative is an amazing legacy for Harry and will help show other schoolchildren just how much their support for others can change the lives of those people around them here at home, and across the world."

Amira Albokaii, a student at the college said: "I think this is a great idea to send shoes to Africa as they will go to someone who needs them more than me. The message I wrote was: I wore these to my first sewing class as part of my college course, and I have just finished my second year in college! I hope you get to do something you love in these shoes too."

Maxine from BCR Global Textiles added: "Recycling shoes goes a long way to helping fight both pollution and poverty on a global scale. We hope that through shoe recycling, we can transcend many of the world's differences and unite all nations in building a better future for everyone........and helping raise funds for Footsteps 4 Harry is an added bonus!


South & City College Birmingham Students Turn Rags into RichesAspiring fashion designers at South and City College Birmingham have turned £30 of locally sourced material into glamorous evening wear suitable for sale in upmarket fashion store Harvey Nichols as part of a competition.

12 talented students had their designs showcased on the catwalk in a bid to be crowned winner of the Rags to Riches competition 2013.

Judging the designs were Lauren Guthrie, a finalist on BBC2's Great British Sewing Bee, Sinead O'Herlihy from Harvey Nichols, Craig Field former college student now studying towards a degree at the prestigious London College of Fashion and Garry Jones, a local artist and charity campaigner.

The students had to create designs, mood boards and finish their garment by a deadline just as they would have to do if they were working in the fashion industry. The outfits were judged on how the students took their initial concept through to final garment, material choices and colours, what's on trend and technical ability.

With an eye catching sequinned cocktail dress, 23 year old HND fashion student Minna Watson caught the judge's eyes to be named winner. Sharon Miles, an adult learner came a close second with a ruffled black dress and Sally Greener, aged 17 who is studying a BTEC Extended Diploma in Fashion Level 3 came third with her hand-dyed skater dress.

Minna said: "After I had heard third and second places being called by the judges, I really didn't think my name was going to be called at all, so I was absolutely delighted and shocked when my name was read out as first place!

"I have only been doing fashion for one year – I was previously studying art, but fashion has always been a dream of mine. It feels amazing that after only one year I have won a competition and I am getting high grades in my HND. I have worked very hard for this so I feel like I am being rewarded for my efforts.

"It was a wonderful feeling seeing my creation on Rihanna the model; she wore it so beautifully and really did it justice. I was really pleased that the silhouette and flow of the garment hadn't changed from my original concept and design."

Lauren Guthrie, who was a finalist in the hit TV show The Great British Sewing Bee, and who has recently opened Guthrie and Ghani a haberdashery and fabric store in Moseley, is no stranger to working to deadlines and making clothes. She said: "I was really impressed with all the different interpretations of the brief, but the winner had clearly thought about every aspect of the design and style and look. It was very well executed."

Eileen Simons, Assistant Director of fashion studies at the college said: "The students have done so well and have made garments that would not look out of place in a high end store like Harvey Nichols. This is a great achievement, especially for those in their first year of the course who are just learning these skills.

"The fashion design industry is broad and varied with many opportunities to work in different areas, but it is also very competitive so it's important students get as many skills and as much experience as possible. The Rags to Riches show helps them get a feel for what it is like to work to a brief, a tight budget and a timescale and have designs judged by outsiders.

"Thanks to our sponsors Harvey Nichols for the prizes and for judging, as well as our other judges Lauren, Craig and Garry who offered excellent feedback to the students."
Sinead from Harvey Nichols added: "I was really surprised and impressed at the quality of the designs, pattern cutting and making of the garments. There were some really strong, on-trend ideas.

"Not only is Minna a great designer but I can also see her going far as a stylist. It was really impressive she made the necklace herself and the whole outfit was very well styled and powerful."

The 12 students who were shortlisted to have their designs showcased on the catwalk in front of the judges wereKayode Adishayan, Amira Albokaii, Spencer Billiard, Sally Greener, Shannon Jinks, Sharon Miles, Huma Raja, Laura Rees, Adorna Renford Natalie Segelov, Chrysti Washington and Minna Watson.

To find out more about our fashion courses go to our courses page.
Take a look at Guthrie and Ghani at

Construction students from South and City College Birmingham are offering their building skills and services to cricket clubs in the West Midlands.

The college and the Warwickshire Cricket Board - who are based at Edgbaston Stadium, have agreed a partnership through the ECB NatWest Cricket Force Programme which will see construction students gain excellent real life work experience, whilst giving cash strapped community cricket clubs that are in need of repair and renovation a helping hand.

South & City College Birmingham - Cricket Club RenovationA group of bricklaying students who are studying at the college's construction centre in Bordesley Green have started their first project, repairing a dilapidated wall at Aston Manor Cricket Club. The experience is beneficial for students, who have already gained excellent skills during their course, but who would like some extra experience to boost their CV's and make them more attractive to employers when they finish their college courses. Not only will they gain vital on-the-job bricklaying skills, but the work will develop their communication skills, target meeting, ensure they understand industry standards, and improve their initiative.

At an event to mark the partnership, Ed McCabe, Warwickshire Cricket Board Development Manager said: "This partnership is the first of its kind in Birmingham but I think it will be mutually beneficial for both the clubs and the students. Some small cricket clubs find it hard to raise the funds for expensive renovations.

"It's great to be helping Aston Manor Cricket Club which has a great youth cricket set up, from which Ateeq Javid and Chris Woakes are recent graduates. We are very grateful to South and City College for offering their services, and we hope that the students are able to really take advantage of the experience."

Mike Hopkins, Principal of South and City College said: "At South and City College Birmingham we understand that employers are looking to hire people with experience under their belts, and so we know the importance of getting our students great work experience to help them get jobs when they leave college. And that is what is really important to us – giving our students everything they need, from qualifications to experience and the confidence they need to reach their goals.

"Thank you to the Warwickshire Cricket Board in helping us provide these opportunities to our students."

Jack Ordidge, aged 18, who is working on the wall said: "It's great to work on a project like this because it gives us site experience. So far, it's going really well and I hope we get to do more projects like this to learn different skills."

Keith Forman, Cricket Chairman added: "Many thanks to the college for such fantastic help and support, which really is appreciated."

South & City College Birmingham - Ladies' Day at the Aegon ClassicA hat designed by a South and City College Birmingham fashion student has been on show at Ladies' Day at the Aegon Classic tournament held in Birmingham today [Thursday 13 June].

The tournament is one of the top events in the British tennis calendar and traditionally attracts a strong international field.

In partnership with a local milliner, 100 fashion students at the college were tasked with designing a hat suitable to be worn at the tournament's Ladies' Day which is held at Edgbaston Priory Club in Edgbaston.

Ten designs were shortlisted, but Anmol Hasinah, aged 18, who is studying a BTEC Fashion and Textile Level 3 course, designed a striking blue and white hat complete with tennis balls, which really stood out and was picked to be created.

Sally Harper-Kenn from Sharper Millinery, an award-winning Birmingham based milliners said: "It was a very hard decision as the students work was of a really high design standard. They had really considered the designs carefully, thinking about appropriate materials, weight and how the hat would sit on the head. Anmol's design really stood out because of its simplicity, but also bold use of colour and shape. I could see how I could create it straight away from the design. It's been a pleasure to create and I hope that it reflects her design in 3D form."

Anmol said: "It was the first time I had designed a hat, but I really enjoyed the experience and I think it is something I will consider more in the future. I am really pleased that my design has been made by a professional milliner. It looks just how I imagined it when I designed it. I'd like to thank the college for this opportunity and for Sally at Sharper Millinery for choosing and making my hat."

Eileen Simons, Assistant Director of Fashion Studies at the South and City College said: "We like our students to get as much fashion experience as possible and this has been an excellent opportunity for them to get a taste of millinery. Thank you to Sally who came and spoke to our students, and to Aegon for providing our students with this great experience."

Katie Leach, Marketing Manager for the Aegon Classic said; "It's great to have been able to work with South and City College and Sharper Millinery on this project. Birmingham has so much to offer and it's great to involve the local community at this International event. The winning design looks fantastic and I hope Anmol enjoyed seeing the design come to life."

Michelle Heaton, Ladies' Day ambassador attended the day along with her friends. She also judged the best dressed competition run by Harvey Nichols.

Aegon Classic have also teamed up with to provide a great day out for ladies attending, including pampering activities such as hair styling, manicures, make-up and more. The tournament continues until 16 June.