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A Level student chosen to join nationally-run FE Youth Collective

Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group (NSCG) are thrilled to announce the appointment of A Level student Emma Gallimore to the newly formed FE Youth Collective for the Association of Colleges (AoC).

Chosen from hundreds of applicants, A Level student and Student Union Mental Health and Wellbeing Officer at Newcastle College, Emma Gallimore, joins 12 other students from colleges around the UK to form a panel of student voices put together by the AoC.

The brand new programme aims to put young people at the centre of decision making, recognising that real life experiences and the thoughts and opinions of current students can be incredibly beneficial for Further Education institutions.

Emma, who is studying Biology, Chemistry and Philosophy, Religion and Ethics, will now attend a number of meetings and conferences throughout the academic year to put forward her thoughts and opinions to help shape the future for students in further education.

Upon her appointment, Emma said: “I’m really pleased to have been nominated and selected, it feels like an incredible opportunity and one that will let me act as a voice for my peers and help implement change.

“I think as a college it’s important to represent all voices and so sharing experiences and hearing from other colleges will allow us to share ideas and make things in further education better for everyone.”

The AoC, who act as the national voice for further education, sixth form, tertiary and specialist colleges in England described the ideal candidate as someone who understands the views of others, recognises the power of change and who believes in better.

“As a Mental Health and Wellbeing Officer for the Union, I am a big advocate of championing positive mental health and have a lot of ideas to share,” added Emma, “but I’m also looking forward to finding out how other colleges do things and can hopefully bring back some great suggestions.”

With dreams of becoming a Biology teacher one day, Emma appreciates the opportunities NSCG have allowed in giving her the chance to speak publicly – she took part in the Student Conference and also formed part of a student panel tasked with interviewing potential candidates during the Principal and Chief Executive interviews earlier this year.

Her willingness to get involved in college life was one of the reasons Group Student Engagement and Wellbeing Co-ordinator David Bourne nominated her.

“Emma is the first person to volunteer to help with events and promote both the College and the Students Union,” said David.

“She has an infectious personality, is confident, friendly, positive and is never afraid to put her opinions and ideas across but always does it in a thoughtful and considerate way, as well as not being afraid to challenge.

“I nominated Emma after working with her as part of the Students’ Union when she took up the role of Mental Health and Wellbeing Officer at the beginning of the 21/22 academic year.

“This was obviously the first time since COVID-19 that the Union had ran and Emma quickly showed that she was passionate about improving the mental of health and wellbeing of students in the College and wanted to make students more aware of services they can access both in and out of college, particularly following the disrupted studies of her year group due to COVID-19.

“As someone who is always willing to stand up and speak publicly on behalf of her peers I knew she would be more than suited for this role and we are all immensely proud of her for being selected.”

As part of #LoveOurColleges Week, Emma will be running a social media takeover on Wednesday 19 October to share ‘A Day in the Life’ of an NSCG student – follow her updates @nscgnewcastle