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East Coast College helping community through COVID-19

PUBLISHED: 16:31 20 March 2020 | UPDATED: 16:31 20 March 2020

East Coast College is moving online and working to help the vulnerable in the community through coronavirus.  Picture: EAST COAST COLLEGE

East Coast College is moving online and working to help the vulnerable in the community through coronavirus. Picture: EAST COAST COLLEGE

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East Coast College is reacting to coronavirus by moving online and helping those in the community.

East Coast College is moving online and working to help the vulnerable in the community through coronavirus.  Picture: EAST COAST COLLEGEEast Coast College is moving online and working to help the vulnerable in the community through coronavirus. Picture: EAST COAST COLLEGE

The college, which has campuses in Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth, is moving not just its classes, but also its community, support networks and ecosystems online.

The college has invested in digital learning buying 600 laptops for staff and students, and using tools such as Moodle and Pro Monitor to create a nurturing online environment for students.

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East Coast College is moving online and working to help the vulnerable in the community through coronavirus.  Picture: EAST COAST COLLEGEEast Coast College is moving online and working to help the vulnerable in the community through coronavirus. Picture: EAST COAST COLLEGE

These tools allow for daily contact with staff and interaction between students to bring as much of the classroom atmosphere to the home as possible.

Stuart Rimmer, principal of East Coast College said: “We’re rebuilding the College community online, mobilising staff and students on a scale never seen before to provide continuity for their education and vital support for our communities.” A ‘Study Buddy‘ scheme is also being put in place to ensure students don’t feel isolated and lose focus.

A student from the college said: “Having my own laptop means I can carry on learning and studying for my A-Levels. It’s a weird time but it means a lot to know I can stay in touch with my mates and my teachers even if I’m stuck at home.”

East Coast College is moving online and working to help the vulnerable in the community through coronavirus.  Picture: EAST COAST COLLEGEEast Coast College is moving online and working to help the vulnerable in the community through coronavirus. Picture: EAST COAST COLLEGE

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To ease concerns brought about by the cancellation of exams, East Coast College is offering all year 11 students a guaranteed place at the college.

As schools close due to COVID-19 the college will continue to support the 500 16-18-year olds on free meals in the boroughs of Great Yarmouth and Waveney with a prepaid card that gives them access to a daily budget for food from local supermarkets.

Mrs Sue Richerson, a student parent said: “I don’t know what we would do without the college support, especially now with the current closures. I have had really good communication with safeguarding throughout and they really understand how vulnerable these young people are.”

The college is also helping to combat empty shelves in local supermarkets by baking bread and will produce hot meals for the vulnerable if needed. Health and Social Care students from the college are staying in their placements to continue delivering vital counselling services and critical support to the community. The college is also offering support for local businesses by offering learning programmes to upskill their employess should they have to self-isolate.

Find all of our coronavirus coverage here.

Health and Social Care students from the college are staying in their placements to continue delivering vital counselling services and critical support to the community. The college is also offering support for local businesses by offering learning programmes to upskill their employess should they have to self-isolate.

Stay up-to-date by joining our Suffolk coronavirus updates Facebook group.


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