Local volunteers have received a surprise ‘thank you’ for their invaluable assistance in supporting our Covid lateral flow test centre, helping us to ensure a safe return to campus.

Members of Nantwich Buddies, a community volunteer support network, aided our own testing team every day for two weeks by registering and marshalling students and essential visitors and by cleaning and disinfecting the testing booths. All praised the extent of measures put in place following the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, which enabled face to face teaching to resume as seamlessly as possible.

Our test centre has now closed after an unbroken 14 days of testing of returning students. Nearly 6000 lateral flow tests have been administered, with no positive results.

After their last shifts we showed our appreciation of the volunteers’ hard work by presenting them with parting gifts of hand tied floral bouquets, Reaseheath cheese and vouchers for college activities.

The morning presentation was made by Louise Woodman, Director of People and Culture, and by Mark Birkitt, Head of Student Services, who were joined for the afternoon presentation by Principal Marcus Clinton.

Louise, Mark and Fiona Sampson, Instructor in the Foundation department, who were responsible for the overall setting up and running of the test centre, also received gifts from our principal in recognition of their dedication.

Louise thanked some staff and students individually for ‘Going the extra mile’ in helping to ensure the efficiency of the operation. The centre will not be dismantled completely, as some booths will be retained for block release testing or other occasions where some bulk testing may be required.

Home testing kits are now available for all students through their Curriculum Area Manager or through Residential Services if they live on campus. Students are being encouraged to test twice a week (Sunday and Wednesday evenings) or, if they are only in college once a week, to test on the morning of their college day.

We have been particularly proud of the responsible way our students have conducted themselves while going through the testing process and generally on campus. We hope that all students and staff enjoy a well deserved Easter break and return full of enthusiasm for their final term.