Exeter News

South Devon College awards own degrees for first time.

South Devon College with campuses in Paignton, Newton Abbot and Torquay celebrated the achievements of its University Centre students at a joint ceremony held over two days at Torquay’s Grand Hotel. The event was hailed a double celebration as the college awarded its own degrees for the very first time. The two-day event (14th and 15th October) was held to ensure that both the classes of 2020, and 2021 were formally congratulated. Last year’s graduation ceremony was held virtually due to Coronavirus. This is the first year that students from University Centre South Devon have been able to graduate with a degree awarded by South Devon College using its new Foundation Degree Awarding Powers (FDAP) alongside degrees awarded in partnership with University of Plymouth. Laurence Frewin, Principal at South Devon College said: “I was so excited to welcome both the Graduating Class of 2020 and 2021 here today. I don’t think that any of us could have imagined the challenges of the last 18 months and I was so glad to be able to celebrate the success of both cohorts in person for the real 3D surround sound experience! “South Devon College was only awarded Foundation Degree Awarding Powers in 2019 and this year we proudly saw our first cohort of South Devon College Foundation Degree graduates. “These graduates are the first of many to take advantage of a natural progression within the College and University Centre, all whilst maintaining strong links with our partners. We are ambitious as a College of Further and Higher Education and ambitious for our local area. “By working with others, particularly the University of Plymouth, the vision aims to build even stronger Higher Education opportunities accessible across the South Devon region, contributing to it economically and socially.” Around 50 students who studied degree level courses in subjects that included Assistant Practitioner, Illustration with Graphics and Animation, Contemporary Arts Practice, and Fashion with Textiles graduated with a South Devon College foundation degree. Mr Frewin added: “The ceremonies, being held over two days were about recognising and celebrating the fantastic achievement of over 800 completing Higher Education students over two year groups, many of whom joined us in person for the first time.” Graduating student Luke Purchon (33) from Plymouth is a proud recipient of the Assistant Practitioner Foundation Degree awarded by South Devon College. Luke is an Assistant Practitioner at Derriford Hospital specialising in renal care. He left…

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Old Mill announces youngest ever head of office

Lucy Bennett, an adviser at Exeter financial experts Old Mill has become the firm’s youngest ever head of office. The 24-year-old has been announced as Old Mill’s new head of office for the sister office in Yeovil where her role is to encourage collaboration and engagement amongst the teams and support Old Mill’s work within the local community, alongside her role as client adviser. Lucy has worked at Old Mill for six years, and during that time has built up strong relationships with clients and colleagues alike, meaning she is perfectly placed to take on the role of office head. However, she knows it will not be plain sailing as we return to the new normal and plans to learn from what the pandemic has taught us. Lucy said: “Bringing everyone together and providing another level of support has always been important, but now it feels more important than ever. Whether people are working from home, the office, or both – they will require different levels of support to make them feel comfortable with the transition, which I hope I can help provide.” Lucy says the pandemic has really pushed mental health to the forefront in all walks of life, and that Old Mill’s response from a wellbeing perspective has been on point, but it is important not to forget what we’ve learnt from the pandemic and grow from it. She said: “Being open minded during times of change not only links to Old Mill’s values, but also seems the most sensible plan of action and I hope to be as inclusive as possible.” Speaking about the fact she is the youngest person to have taken on one of the four office role positions; Lucy said: “I see my appointment as a perfect illustration of how forward-looking Old Mill is when it comes to offering exciting opportunities for career development. We are most definitely not ‘old school’ in this respect, and hopefully me being slightly more junior will be beneficial in encouraging others to take a ‘leap of faith’ and put themselves out there” Lucy has always been heavily involved in the Yeovil Social Committee and was also instrumental in the launch of The Old Mill Fund – the home of Old Mill’s charitable giving – so feels her new role is a natural next step up. “I hope to invigorate the…