Tim Olorunda, 29, took on an Apprenticeship in Level 2 Plumbing and Level 3 Advanced Plumbing in partnership with Sussex Coast College Hastings. Here he talks about his experience.

“In 2009, I was made redundant and was looking for a radical change in direction. I had always been interested in the plumbing world, but had never really had the opportunity to pursue it.

Initially, I started a ‘learn from home’ scheme and although it gave me an insight into the world of plumbing, I didn’t feel I was getting enough practical experience, so I decided to enrol at Sussex Coast College Hastings.

After contacting a variety of local plumbing firms, I got offered an apprenticeship with ‘Advanced Plumbing Solutions’ who subsequently folded, leaving me with the same role at ‘Better Plumbing and Heating Company.’

Studying whilst working was great for me as it enabled me to carry on the lifestyle I had before starting the apprenticeship. Being a mature learner, at 24, I needed a steady income to pay the bills.

Since completing my apprenticeship, I have gone on to buy the company I started working for!

Without the help of Sussex Coast College tutors Lee Dunstall and Steven Hunt, this would have never been an option for me. With their help and guidance, I left SCCH with my Level 2 and Level 3 City and Guilds plumbing certificates, unvented water certificate, solar, and my gas qualifications.

I’d like to thank them and SCCH for all of their hard work, expert teaching and continued advice and guidance whenever I needed it.


 Creative students

Three, second year students from Brighton University’s FDA Illustration course, housed at Sussex Coast College, have been jointly commissioned to design and create installations for this year’s Christmas Bizarre at the School Creative Centre in Rye.

Selected from eight entries, Nina Somers, Rosie Bellhouse and Keith Hau’s proposals responded to a brief to create installation works on the theme of the Grimm tale Hansel and Gretel for the School Creative Centre’s fifth annual Christmas Bizarre.  

Nina Somers explained what this opportunity means to the students:

“Getting this commission is great - it means we are able to practise and have all the challenges of working in a new space and to a strict budget whilst sourcing materials externally. It really helps doing it as a team.”

Each of the three students is taking on a different aspect of the decoration with their own mixed media installation. Keith’s proposal focuses on the foyer and corridors near the entrance, where he is recreating Hansel and Gretel in the forest using just paper and silhouettes. His design will be entirely created from torn paper - a monochrome effect with just hints of colour.

Nina and Rosie will be creating an interactive gingerbread house in the cafe with images of sweets and cakes, which children can help to decorate [so they take an active part in the creation]. The cafe interior will have one wall featuring the crux of the story - Hansel and Gretel pushing the witch in the oven. This will also include a seaside style cut-out photo-opportunity! The students also plan to produce a digital installation next door to the cafe - “the way home” - creating an effect whereby designed trees seem to merge and disappear into a real forest...

Chrissy Harmer-Brown, of the School Creative Centre, who made the final selection said: “I am really impressed by the students’ ideas and their professionalism. It’s going to be great having them working here.”

All three winners are mature students in the second year of a two year FDA Illustration course at Brighton University based at Hastings’ Sussex Coast College. Lead Tutor Joanna Kerr said: “This is an excellent opportunity for the students. They’ve been brilliant at handling the application process and shown a lot of initiative in putting the plan into action. They’ve even managed to get sponsorship from paper company G.S Smith, who’ve provided them with packs of paper, and I’m really confident that it will be fantastic.”

As well as the opportunity to enjoy the Hansel and Gretel experience, Christmas Bizarre features a wealth of stalls from high quality local designer-makers including: woodturners, silversmiths, contemporary jewellers, textile designers and paper sculptors. The cafe will be serving a range of locally sourced soups, scones and cakes; parking is free and there is no entrance fee.

This year’s Christmas Bizarre also features a fundraising Super Secret Santa Show in aid of Surviving Christmas, a local Hastings-based charity, which aims to ensure as many people as possible feel cared for at Christmas.

Illustration student Nina added “It’s a great opportunity to work at the School Creative Centre where so many artists are working and also to be a part of something so positive, supporting those for whom Christmas can be hard”.

As well as the opportunity to take part in the fundraising art-work sweepstake visitors will also be able to see an especially commissioned animation on the theme of “Surviving Christmas” by local film and music students.

Help to make a difference by coming to this very special craft fair and supporting those in need at the same time. Christmas Bizarre takes place on Friday 6 December from 6-9 and Saturday 7 December from 10-6 at the School Creative Centre, New Road, Rye.

This event is sponsored by Sussex Community Rail Partnership. For more information call 01797 229 797 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


amber and matthew

Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock visited Sussex Coast College Hastings as part of Tomorrow’s Engineering Week. He spent the afternoon with 100 year 10 and 11 pupils from three schools across Hastings, including Hastings Academy, St Leonards Academy and Helenswood Academy. Amber Rudd MP joined the Minister along with college students, engineering ambassadors and engineering employers, for an educational and inspirational afternoon.

The minister was given an overview of the college, led by Principal Clive Cooke, before meeting with students and employers and Amber Rudd MP for a ‘Turn the Tables’ event. This event encouraged students to help and advise local businesses on how social media can make a difference to their business.

The students then took part in a tomorrow’s engineer’s activity with engineering ambassadors working with students to demonstrate the breadth, depth & variety of job opportunities in engineering.

He then spoke to the school pupils, college students and engineering employers about the importance of engineering roles, relating this to iPhones, iPads and BlackBerrys, which the students could relate to and fully engage with.

The Minister and Amber Rudd MP were given a tour of the college facilities and particularly enjoyed themselves in the College fuselage.

During the afternoon, Amber Rudd MP tweeted ‘enjoying a great presentation from local Colleges to local businesses leaders RE. skills and employability.’

Matthew Hancock MP concluded the afternoon as a great success. He added ‘”Watching young people teach local businesses how to make the most of social media was a great example of the talent that we can harness. If we are to strengthen our recovery we will need a new generation able to deliver and who are enthused and confident in the digital world.

“The students at Sussex Coast College I met are engaged and aspirational. It was great to see a college delivering high-quality education to help young people reach their potential in Hastings and beyond.”



This Monday, staff and students were invited to pay respect to those who have died for our country, both here and overseas, in a Remembrance Day tribute.

The morning was organised and led by the Sport and Public Services lecturers, with help from students studying public services, health and social care and sports studies.

Two wreaths were laid to commemorate those that have fallen and speeches were made by guests of honour, including the President of HSVA, Mrs Pam Brown OBE, who gave the Exhortation and Epitaph and said a few words to all of those assembled.

Other guests of honour included Steve Walsgrove, Standard Bearer with Queen’s Colour, Jim Hoath, former Coldstream Guardsman, Eileen Cooter, HSVA Member and Tony Selmes, who is also Chairman of the Royal Air Forces Association. Lecturer Justin Wynne gave a short speech, before Kym East played the Last Post and Reveille on the trumpet whilst poppy petals were sprinkled from the top floor. Two minutes silence was then held during the moving service.

Trudi Sealy, Head of Faculty for Heath and Service Industries commented ‘I have never been as proud as I am today. It is wonderful to see all of the students from Sussex Coast College Hastings filling the atrium to pay respect to those who have fallen.’ She continued to thank all of those involved.

WTM small 123

Over 50 Level 2 and 3 Travel and Tourism students attended the largest travel trade exhibition in the world this week. Visiting stands representing countries all over the world, the students collected information for their coursework, whilst building relationships and networking with professionals within the travel industry.

The students behaved impeccably throughout the day. The standard of uniform was superb and very professional. Tutor Suzanne Donohue commented ‘the students were approached by lots of people asking about their uniform.  They wanted to know which college they were from and asked them to pose for promotional photos as they looked so smart.’

‘The trip is vital to their course as they collect information for coursework, tasks and practical assignments. They get a great insight into the travel industry, and also represent the college positively.’

Level 3 Travel and Tourism students, Deana Kewley and Nico Seetaram, agreed that the trip was great for their learning. ‘People from the industry explained first-hand about the trade, their experiences and travel as a career path.’

Nico Seetaram added, ‘I have learnt the importance of taking all opportunities which come my way and going for a job I love, rather than money.’


Kevin Brown


Sussex Coast College Public Services lecturer and Hastings resident, Kevin Brown, has been selected as one of eight men, to march at the Cenotaph Parade on Remembrance Day, for the Queen's Parade.

Kevin emigrated from Lewisham to South Africa in 1970. South African National Service was compulsory for all white males living in South Africa, and every school child had to register from the age of 16.

Kevin went on to do his basic training at 6 SA Infantry Airborne. He specialised as a Tracker and was sent to the Border of South West Africa/Angola. This was the longest African war spanning a 19 year period, with both father and son involved in the fighting.

South Africa offered support to the Angolan Rebel force, known as Unita, and once on the Border, they were formed into operational units. Kevin was part of the reaction squad and Counter Insurgency team, with one of his tasks being to run arms and medical supplies up into Angola to the Unita stronghold. 

For his efforts, Kevin has received numerous medals, including General Service Medal, The Southern Africa Medal, Pro Patria Medal and gained Honourable Discharge in 1987, joining the South African Legion UK last year.

Kevin added ‘I am honoured and humbled to have been selected for this march. It will be a very proud day for both myself and South Africa. This is the very first time for the SA Legion to take part.’

Sussex Coast College Hastings Public Service students will be hosting their own Annual Remembrance service in the Station Plaza Atrium, at 11am on Monday 11th November, in memory of those fallen.


E-News Signup