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Vinings Natural Health Centre in Haywards Heath are offering a series of Autumn Workshops run by our range of therapists. I’m offering a workshop on herbal remedies for joints and muscles including a demo on how to make herbal salve. There are other sessions running through the Autumn period from the months of September to November.

Autumn Workshops Schedule (Sept-Nov 2023) 

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Big Green Week at Varndean College

As part of the nationwide Big Green Week from 12-16 June, Varndean College hosted a number of lunchtime talks from prominent organisations involved in sustainability and conservation work to preserve natural habitats, to those involved in promoting biodiversity, campaign organisations focussed on the damaging impact of deforestation and highlighting the topical issues around intensive farming, the meat industry and livestock rearing.

Students also heard the inspirational personal journey of Nicola Peel, an environmental solutionist who gave an account of her 20 years of working in the Ecuadorian Amazon coordinating a number of environmental and social projects. She also spoke about Biomimicry and how scientists are exploring its importance in improving technology, architecture, material design and even textiles by learning from the world around us.

Students were also given an account of the work of Greenpeace by a climate justice campaigner who, through her fundraising work was able to explain how such justice could be accessed and described the crucial work to improve equality in relation to climate and social justice.   She also explored the links between industrial meat production, carbon emissions and deforestation. Other talks were from Brighton Sea Life, the oldest aquarium in the world as well as the Millennium Seed Bank, who spoke about their work in conserving seeds from common, rare or endangered, useful plants. It is hoped that this work will serve as a global insurance policy that preserves the genetic resource of the most diverse, wild plant species we have on earth.


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Varndean College STEM Centre – official opening

A couple of snippets from the ITV Meridian during the opening of  Varndean College’s £2.9M STEM Centre. The official opening saw our Principal, Donna-Marie Janson, welcome Lord Professor Robert Winston as well as Brighton & Hove Mayor, Cllr Lizzie Deane. Also interviewed was Yaso Shan who, as Varndean College Lead for Climate and Environment and primarily tasked with ensuring Education for Sustainable Development said: “We are in a key position to educate the next generation on how to secure the health and well-being of the planet in years to come”.

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Circular Economy Talk

As part of the nationwide series of events for Green Careers Week (7-12th November), Varndean College hosted Claire Potter from Claire Potter Design on the Circular Economy on the 9th November. She was joined by her colleague Clare Harris. They provided an interesting and informative talk to include an overview of what the Circular Economy is, and the different opportunities that are present not only in the green sector but in a variety of other sectors.
They provided details into the role that design plays in the circular economy, with a focus on some examples of how green pathways can be shown through product design and discuss entry into suitable careers that students would not have considered. The talk provided an opportunity for the college to help create students who are well versed in the circular economy and how that can be applied in product/3D design as well as service design and behaviour change amongst other examples.
Crucial information was given on the types of jobs that students find in some areas finishing with examples of Sussex University alumni who are all working in the Circular Economy in large multinational companies such as Dyson® and Lego®. Both Claire Potter and Clare Harris are based at Sussex University in the School of Engineering, Informatics and Design; Claire Potter is a Senior Lecturer and Course Convenor for Product Design and Clare Harris is a Senior Teaching Fellow in Creativity and Design based in Engineering and Design.
Green Careers Week is supported by STEM UK, The Royal Society and the Met Office.

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We are officially a Carbon Literate Organisation!

In September 2022, Varndean College was awarded the Bronze status as a Carbon Literate Organisation. This accreditation is the visible ‘badge’ that shows we are both committed to Carbon Literacy and serious about maintaining our low carbon culture. We are incredibly proud of this achievement.

A Carbon Literate Organisation (CLO) is an organisation that has been accredited by The Carbon Literacy Project as having a substantial commitment to Carbon Literacy. This accreditation supports the development (in addition to the recruitment and retention) of a Carbon Literate workforce and requires an organisation to engage positively with its audience or community in developing and delivering low carbon

This follows the successful completion and subsequent implementation of the Carbon Literacy Qualification, a course which has been offered as a pilot scheme across Sussex colleges, with Varndean being one of the first in the country to offer this course. Achieving the Bronze CLO status is an important milestone for the college especially in light of the impending developments under the Masterplan.

The proposals within the plan seeks to improve the current college campus with works that ensure energy efficient buildings with a low carbon footprint in addition to the implementation of the college-wide sustainability projects such as the ecology garden.

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