Reaseheath students to raise funds for local cancer charity

Reaseheath College has named North West Cancer Research as its chosen charity of the year.

Students at the leading land-based college in Nantwich voted for the charity after learning of its commitment to supporting cancer research in the North West.

Members of Reaseheath’s Student Association plan to raise more than £15,000 for North West Cancer Research over the next 12 months by hosting a series of fundraising events. Already planned are several band nights, a staff versus students Tough Mudder challenge and a Halloween cellar tour.

The students will also support the charity in its awareness raising campaigns which run throughout the year, such as its #suncreamselfie campaign, which highlights sun safety and skin cancer symptoms.

The funds they raise will go towards potentially lifesaving research at universities in Liverpool, Lancaster and Bangor. Projects currently supported by North West Cancer Research include the improvement of skin cancer drug treatments and the use of proton beam therapies in the treatment of patients with head and neck cancers.

Student Association RAG (Raising and Giving) Chair Tom Allen, a BSc Wildlife Conservation and Ecology undergraduate, said: “Cancer is a horrible disease which unfortunately touches so many people. We all know someone close to us who has sadly been diagnosed with cancer, or lost a loved one to it.

“As a student group we have always been keen to support local causes and charities which make a real impact to our everyday lives. When we learned of the work which North West Cancer Research does to fund lifesaving research, we knew it was a charity we wanted to support. Knowing that the money we raise will help researchers who are based locally, and that this research could potentially help people on our doorstep, was really important to us.

“We are looking forward to raising money for the charity and doing our bit to support cancer research. It’s important that we do everything we can to help give more people a chance to survive cancer, which is why we hope to raise as much money as possible in the next year.”

Over the past 28 years, students and staff at Reaseheath College have raised more than £248,000 for local charities.

Bobby Magee, fundraising manager at North West Cancer Research, said: “We are proud to have been selected as Reaseheath College’s charity of the year. Support from community groups is crucial to our fundraising as it enables us to engage with the wider community and pledge more funding for research.

“Cancer will affect one in two of us during our lifetime. Today, thanks to research, half of all people diagnosed with cancer will survive. With the help of supporters like these students, we can help eliminate cancer and save more lives sooner.”

North West Cancer Research is the biggest independent funder of cancer research in the North West and has committed to funding more than £13 million worth of research over the next five years.

Header image caption: Members of Reaseheath’s Student Association let their hair down at this year’s RAG charity ball.



Christmas Fair brings festive spirit to Reaseheath

A group of events management students got into the festive spirit by hosting their first Christmas Fair at Reaseheath.

Seven first year students on our Level 3 Events Management course organised the Christmas Fair to raise money for this year’s nominated charity, British Heart Foundation.

The students held the Christmas Fair in the historic Reaseheath Hall with around 15 stalls spread across the building.  Stall holders sold various festive treats and stocking fillers including chocolate, wooden toys, cupcakes and bird boxes.  Visitors also had the opportunity to meet Santa and Mrs Claus in a Christmas Grotto and enjoyed refreshments generously donated by our food and catering departments

Andy Boyle, a professional photographer and former Reaseheath student kindly volunteered his time and provided a novelty photo booth for the day, adding to the festivities. Andy studied agriculture at Reaseheath in the 1970s and is also a full time Dairy Herd Manager alongside running his photography business ‘Andy Boyle Photography’.

Students raised over £400 for British Heart Foundation, which has increased our current RAG total to £3,200.

Phenomenal success for Reaseheath Family Festival

Thousands of visitors flocked to Reaseheath College on Sunday to join in the college’s fun filled Family Festival.

Jack and Annabel Jones from Woore meet Daff and Dehlia

Jack and Annabel Jones from Woore meet Daff and Dehlia

The Nantwich campus was packed with families, many of whom had travelled from outside the region to enjoy the hundreds of activities and displays on offer.

A giant Tyrannosaurus Rex called Tyrone proved a great hit among young visitors as he roamed the lawns while TV personalities the Fabulous Baker Brothers, Tom and Henry Herbert, drew in the crowds with their cookery demonstrations.

Another highlight was a display of natural horsemanship and daring trick riding by the highly trained Atkinson Action Horses, which performed at the college’s Equestrian Centre.

The action packed programme, themed on science and nature, also featured a calf show, sheep shearing, a farmers’ and craft market, student horse riding displays, tours of the college’s zoo, a fun dog show and displays of classic cars and agricultural and military vehicles.

Atkinson Action Horses Roman riding

Atkinson Action Horses Roman riding

Visitors also took the chance to try out the college’s indoor climbing wall, operate a digger, have a go at tree climbing and bushcraft, try brick laying and joinery and test their skills on the high ropes course. Crowds toured the college’s food processing halls, watched lamb boning and cheese making demonstrations and enjoyed making chocolate. There was also lively entertainment from local dance groups and bands.

Reaseheath students took the opportunity to raise money for their RAG (raising and giving) appeal, which in 2015 goes to Macmillan Cancer Support, while former students took the chance to meet up with fellow members of Reaseheath’s Alumni Association.

The Fabulous Baker Brothers Tom and Henry Herbert with Judith Allman

The Fabulous Baker Brothers Tom and Henry Herbert with Judith Allman

Describing the event as ‘phenomenally successful’, Principal Meredydd David said: “It was wonderful to see so many families thoroughly enjoying themselves. The whole campus looked superb, with plenty of activities supporting our science and technology theme.

“I spoke to many visitors who had had a fantastic time but still had not been around the whole campus as there was so much to see and do.

“The whole day was full of the “Reaseheath Experience” of which we are all so proud. This could not have been delivered without the fantastic efforts of all the Reaseheath team.

“The popularity of the festival is further evidence of the huge interest in Reaseheath and its work, especially its success in progressing students into higher education or into successful careers in professions and industries where there are great opportunities.”

See below for a selection of photographs from the the day!


Reaseheath’s Rag raises money for St Luke’s Cheshire Hospice

Caring students from Reaseheath College in Nantwich presented nearly £10,000 to St Luke’s Cheshire Hospice at their summer ball last week.

Money raised from RAG (Raising and Giving) activities was handed over to Mark Porter, St Luke’s Corporate and Community Fund Raiser, by members of Reaseheath’s Student Association. Mark said: “This is a fantastic amount of money which will help provide patient care in the local community. We are delighted that Reaseheath’s students chose us as their charity this year.”

Based in Winsford, St Luke’s Cheshire Hospice provides day care and longer term care to patients throughout Mid and South Cheshire and also supports their carers. Last year it helped over 3,000 people. The charity needs to raise £7,500 every day to keep its services free to Cheshire residents.

Reaseheath’s Student Association organised 35 fund raising events in RAG week alone, including a James Bond themed RAG Ball, a staff versus students football match, a raft race on the college lake, a tractor pull and a Three Peaks Challenge by students and staff from the construction department.

Student Association President Sam Norfolk, 20, who has just completed his Foundation Degree in Adventure Sports Management, said: “We had a fantastic team of Student Association members who worked really hard to put together activities which everyone could enjoy while raising money for a good cause. We chose St Luke’s because its services benefit the whole community and some were relevant to us, such as the bereavement counsellor for young people.”

In addition to supporting St Luke’s, Reaseheath students and staff have raised a further £4,000 for other charities this year including Macmillan Cancer Support, the Poppy Appeal, Red Nose Day and a number of animal charities.

Over the past 26 years students and staff have raised over £190,000 for local charities.


Cheshire Show, netball and the Summer Ball

Over the last week or so there has been yet another monumental effort from the SA working two twelve hours shifts at Cheshire County Show. They managed to earn £610 in donations for St Luke’s Cheshire Hospice which is a great addition to our standing total.

Also last week there was a mini netball tournament between male and female staff and students, with the staff coming out on top overall. We managed to raise £24.50 which again has been added to our total.

Summer ball is finally here! The meal has now been changed to a BBQ which we feel is more in tune with the festival theme. The last England match will be shown in the bar as well with the bar being open from 5pm.

This is the end of another year at Reaseheath College, it has been a pleasure being your SA president, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my role this year and have met so many new people that have made the experience great. Wish everyone the very best in the future!

Check in next year!

Sam Norfolk
SA President

Bumper crowds enjoy Reaseheath College Festival

Devils Horsemen Daniel Naprous and his black stallion perform.

Devils Horsemen Daniel Naprous and his black stallion perform.

Bumper crowds flocked to Reaseheath College on Sunday to join in the college’s annual Family Festival.

Thousands of visitors spent the day at the college’s Nantwich campus, enjoying the warm sunshine and carnival atmosphere.

Headline acts included a daring display of trick riding by The Devil’s Horsemen stunt team and displays by Titan, a giant robot whose latest appearances include the opening of the Winter Olympics at Sochi. Both acts had returned to Reaseheath due to popular demand.

Families also had the chance to see a replica of Bloodhound SSC, the supersonic car which will attempt a 1,000mph land speed record in 2016. The car was part of a technology theme running through the festival and had a simulator so that visitors could experience the thrill of driving the fastest car on earth.

Titan meets the crowd

Titan meets the crowd

Another world record was attempted during the day when 300 visitors got down and boogied on Reaseheath’s lawn to ‘Oops Upside Your Head’. The evidence is still under scrutiny, but it is hoped that the dance will earn Reaseheath a place in the Guinness Book of Records. The challenge was masterminded by members of Reaseheath’s Student Association to raise money for the college’s RAG (raising and giving) appeal, which this year goes to St Luke’s Cheshire Hospice.

The World War I was a supporting theme of the festival, with Reaseheath Food Centre putting on a WWI field kitchen and displays by North Staffordshire Military Vehicle Trust and Cheshire Land Rover Club.  The Devil’s Horsemen team brought an original WWI canteen carriage, which was paraded round the college grounds pulled by two draft horses.

BBC Radio Stoke presenter James Watt with Bloodhound SSC

BBC Radio Stoke presenter James Watt with Bloodhound SSC

The many other highlights included a calf show which was won by Level 3 Extended Diploma in Agriculture student Becky Harper with fellow student Harley Sneyd as Reserve Champion. Families also enjoyed sheep shearing, a farmers’ and craft market, student horse riding displays, tours of the college’s zoo, a fun dog show, a tea garden and demonstrations ranging from tree climbing and chainsaw use to butchery and cheese making.

The many ‘have a go’ activities included the chance to try archery, climb the college’s indoor wall and tackle the high ropes course.

The Voice contestant Joe Keegan

The Voice contestant Joe Keegan

The main stage hosted guest artists including Celtica Irish Dancing, ‘The Voice’ contestant Joe Keegan and local band Hex. Younger visitors enjoyed an old time funfair games, miniature train rides, face painting and local ice cream.

Reaseheath family festival has been running for over 20 years and is one of a number of college events to attract a growing number of visitors from the region. A recent independent economic assessment revealed that Reaseheath contributes around £85.7 million in additional income per year to the local business community.

Said Principal Meredydd David: “Once again the Reaseheath team delivered a fabulous family festival for thousands of people. In my opinion it was the best ever festival and a phenomenal success, allowing our visitors to celebrate with us what’s best about Reaseheath.

“As well as being a shop window for the skills of our students, the festival also makes a fantastic contribution to our local community and has become a not to be missed event for many people.”


  • Bloodhound SSC, accompanied by its education team, has remained at Reaseheath this week and is being visited by 120 pupils from local schools each day. On Saturday 24th May the car will feature in the launch of the Cheshire Science Festival, which runs until June 1st and aims to encourage more pupils into science, technology, engineering and maths.


New life saving kits for campus

Reaseheath has become the first college to receive defibrillators from The Oliver King Foundation.

Eight of the potentially life saving kits will be placed strategically around campus and will be used in the event of anyone having a cardiac arrest. Thirty-eight staff members are already trained to use them and many more will undergo training.

The Oliver King Foundation was set up in memory of a 12 year old who died from Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS), which causes sudden death in apparently healthy young people. Nineteen youngsters a week are lost through the condition.

We raised over £10,000 for The Oliver King Foundation when it was our RAG charity in 2012. The foundation, which has backing from MPs and councillors, aims to put defibrillators in community areas where they will be available to give essential and immediate first aid in the ‘golden’ four minutes following cardiac arrest.

The equipment has been placed in schools in the Liverpool, Knowsley, Sefton and Wirral areas and has already been used to help save the lives of three young people. The Foundation plans to expand the scheme throughout the north west and then nationally.  Reaseheath is the first college to benefit by purchasing defibrillators from the charity.

Our Chaplain, Drew Walker, has overseen the project and invited Oliver’s dad Mark King, the charity’s founder, to Reaseheath last week to hand over the equipment personally.

Drew said: “Having the defibrillators readily available on campus will help us in our efforts to provide a completely safe environment for our students, staff and visitors. We’ve already had lots of positive feedback from our involvement with the scheme.”

This year’s RAG charity is St Luke’s Cheshire Hospice.


Welcome back

Alright guys,

First of all, I hope everyone had a good Christmas and New Year and welcome back!

The Winter Ball was a great success, thank you to the entire SA who stayed up late the night before to decorate the bar and dining room for the evening. We have had praise from the Principal and Vice Principal saying how impressed they were and everyone who attended seemed to really enjoy themselves. Here are some photos from the evening:

In the first week back at college the SA have been busy coming up with ideas for more fundraising events for the term ahead. These include a onesie day and social which is taking place on Thursday 23rd January and clothes donations (we are encouraging staff and students to donate any unwanted clothes to St Luke’s so they can sell them in their shops). The SA’s three peaks challenge is going to kick start our RAG week, dates to be confirmed soon; also the Principal will be joining us for the challenge.

The Valentine’s day/RAG social is on Thursday 13th February, £1 of every ticket bought will go towards this years RAG charity. In the near future we have lots more events coming up, if you would like to get involved we are always looking for volunteers.

Are you interested in being a member of the Student Association next academic year? We’re looking to get the 2014/15 SA set up by May this year so if you are interested let me know and come and get involved!

Check in next week for another update.

Sam Norfolk
SA President

Winter Ball planning and RAG

Alright guys,

Second blog now, this week after our meeting on Monday, we have been organising the decorations for the Winter Ball. We have also been discussing possible menu options for the meal which is on Tuesday 17th December. Tickets will be on sale soon so keep asking us for more info…

This week we are hoping to announce our charity for this year’s RAG. After a couple of weeks of process elimination we have shortlisted three and are looking forward to their presentations. We have a couple of events organised to kickstart fundraising in December.  The fundraiser will involve a kayaking challenge over a fair distance in both Nantwich and Crewe on the 7th and 14th December 2013.

Another event that we have organised is to steward for the Xmas lights switch on in Nantwich on the 30th November 2013, this will be happening from 4.30pm till 7.30pm. About 8 members of our SA will be volunteering their own time to help raise a donation for RAG.


Sam Norfolk
SA President

Introducing your President…

Alright guys, this is my first blog post for the Reaseheath Student Association! This blog is for keeping all Reaseheath students up to date with what’s going on at the college. Bit about me, my name is Sam Norfolk aged 20, I’m on the second year of the FdSc Adventure Sports course.

Over the last week or so, the Student Association have been collectively working on picking a charity for this year’s RAG, we’re hoping to announce this in the next couple of weeks. We have also started planning for the Winter Ball which includes decorations, menu and the DJ/band.

We have also got together to talk about some fundraising events for RAG and coming up with some challenges for us to complete throughout the year, I’ll keep you posted!

Last week we had our infamous Bavarian night which is a miniature German beer festival in the bar for over 18’s. This night was massively successful and the atmosphere was unbeatable. Check out some of the photos here, the rest can be found on Facebook.

I’ll be blogging every week so keep an eye out!

Sam Norfolk
SA President