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Nacro has been recognised with the award of 2018 National Union of Students (NUS) People award for introducing Student Unions across all our education centres.

The 2018 NUS People Award recognises extraordinary work and achievements to empower and support students. Student Unions exist to represent students within education institutions internally and externally, on wide ranging local and national issues or concerns, including the provision of a variety of student services. The NUS has a membership of 600 student unions, representing over 95 per cent of all higher and further education unions in the UK.

Over 2000 students, aged 14 to 18 years old, attend Nacro education centres in disadvantaged areas across the country, which offer maths and English and a range of vocational qualifications from mechanics and sport to hospitality and catering. Many go on to positive destinations including employment, further and higher education. Prior to Summer 2017, Nacro education centres did not have any Student Unions, with the exception of Totton College’s Student Union, which we inherited when Totton College joined Nacro education services through a not-for-profit merger in December 2015. Totton College provides vocational and technical qualifications, apprenticeships and access to higher education courses for 16- to 19-year-olds and adults in Hampshire.

With the help of the NUS, Nacro Welfare Officer Steve Maidment set up the Nacro Students’ Union (NSU) in all education and skills centres. Drawing on Steve’s extensive experience, activities were planned to support the introduction and growth of NSU. These included student consultation, summer roadshow events to train education staff, and a financial investment which helped the students themselves to create and deliver events. These resulted in successful student recruitment and engagement. The establishment of the union builds on previous work Nacro has developed on student voice and service user engagement.

Lisa Capper, Nacro Director of Education and Skills, said:

“Nacro staff work hard to support young people for whom mainstream education has not been the right place for them to thrive, so that they can develop the essential skills they need to succeed. We are delighted that this hard work has been recognised nationally and congratulate Steve and the whole education team for their efforts to successfully introduce Student Unions across Nacro and give our learners a strong voice”.

Picture captions

  1. From left to right Eden Ladley, NUS LGBT Officer; Rose Evans, Nacro Community Voice Officer, receiving the award on behalf of Nacro; Jess Bradley, NUS Trans Officer
  2. Rose Evans with Shakira Martin, NUS President