Barnsley College is celebrating after winning a prestigious Association of Colleges (AoC) Beacon NOCN Group Award for Mental Health and Wellbeing.

The AoC Beacon Awards celebrate the best and most innovative practice among UK colleges each year and this year took place via a virtual award ceremony.

The NOCN Award for Mental Health and Wellbeing celebrates the important work colleges are doing to support the mental health and wellbeing of their students and staff. The rise in ill health amongst students and the greater public is of great concern and is attracting heightened attention nationally. In winning this award, Barnsley College was praised for the work it has undertaken and its commitment to promoting wellbeing through its umbrella approach.

Yiannis Koursis, Principal and Chief Executive of Barnsley College, said: “We are elated to have won this award as all of the College’s staff work hard to ensure we create an environment that promotes positive mental health and wellbeing. This award highlights the fantastic work that our Health and Wellbeing team and our departmental tutorial teams do to support our students, and we couldn’t be prouder.”

Julie Nerney, Chair of AoC Charitable Trust, said: “The work colleges do on wellbeing often gets overlooked. But it is a core focus for so many institutions. This College stands out with its whole college mental health strategy that spans both improving teaching and learning and providing effective support for everyone. All this vital, high quality work enables students to feel more secure and able to learn.”

The College was also a finalist in the Careers and Enterprise Company Award for Innovation in Careers and Enterprise category. This award celebrates outstanding examples of innovative careers leadership and practice when engaging with schools, employers and other agencies, to provide students with excellent impartial careers education, advice and guidance.