News & Press

Hair Media P1014727bCeleb make-up artist Nikki Bassy officially opened Uxbridge College’s fantastic new Hair & Media Make-up studios after inspiring students with a talk about her work with music industry names including Estelle
Nikki’s stellar career included seven years as exclusive make-up artist to Grammy Award-winning Estelle, star of hits including the no. 1 smash American Boy with Kanye West, as well as celebrities including Beverley Knight, John Legend, Daniel Beddingfield, Natasha Beddingfield and Miss Dynamite. Nikki, who studied make-up at a south London college, got her big break when a friend who was a music producer for Def Jam records introduced her to Estelle when the artist was unsigned and virtually unknown.

Nikki, whose life experience has also included teaching dance and working with young people said: “Uxbridge College’s hair and media make-up studio is great - it’s a fantastic place to learn which looks really professional. I would definitely recommend young people complete a formal qualification - some people say you should just go straight into the industry but training at college gives you excellent skills and gives you options if you decide you want to do something different at some point.”

Louise Southam, Head of Hair, Beauty, Hospitality and Early Years, said: “Nikki was a real inspiration to our students and it’s fantastic to hear someone with so much industry experience give our hair and media make-up studio such a great review.”

The event also included a make-up demo by Uxbridge College lecturer Sita Gill who recently won the BABTAC & CIBTAC Make-up artist of the Year Award and Eyelash Technician of the Year Award and who has worked with celebrities and in film and television. Lorraine Winslade, who is the creator of the Love Your Skin London range which she trains students to use on clients, also attended the event. Lorraine, who worked in FE for 30 years and is also a former QVC expert presenter for skin care products, also helps students prepare for exams and get ‘world ready’ by sharing her experience.

For photos from the event see

Anne Frank handshake P1014628Students learning English as a second language gave talks to guests including the Mayor of Hillingdon Councillor Carol Melvin at an exhibition about the life of the German-Jewish teenager Anne Frank.

Students from Uxbridge College’s ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) courses acted as tour guides to the Mayor and her husband and Consort Andrew Melvin and other guests at the Anne Frank: A History for Today exhibition. The event took place at the College’s Hayes campus, where ESOL courses are taught, in the Learning Resource Centre. The Trust uses Anne Frank’s diary, in which she wrote about her experiences of being in hiding in a secret annex in Amsterdam during the Second World War, as a starting point for teaching young people about the Holocaust.

Councillor Melvin said: “I think the whole exhibition was absolutely amazing. It’s an incredible story of course and it was phenomenal what the students achieved especially considering that English is their second language and they have stood up in front of everyone. I thought they were wonderful.”

For some of the students, who come from countries including Syria, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Poland, Turkey, Iran, Kurdistan, Eritrea, France and India, aspects of Anne’s story reflected their own experiences. Among those acting as tour guides were Osama Alattia, who came to the UK from Syria.

Osama (19), who has been in the UK for around 14 months, said: “We have to learn from history. Reading Anne Frank’s diary has made me think about what is going on in my country where people’s lives are not safe either. I miss my family and can only communicate with them about once a month, but it is good to be safe in the UK and to get an education which was not possible for me in Syria.”

Jon Parish, Head of Creative Studies and English Language Teaching, said: “The work we did with the Anne Frank Trust UK was incredibly valuable and particularly powerful as many of the students who told Anne’s story have, like her, faced persecution in their own countries and been forced to leave their homes and their families. They may not have been taught about the Holocaust as students are routinely in the UK, although in many cases it was not difficult for them to see its implications for the world we live in today where unfortunately history continues to repeat itself. We are very proud of our learners and what they have achieved and also extremely grateful to the Anne Frank Trust for their valuable input.”

Robert Posner, Chief Executive of The Anne Frank Trust UK, said: “I was so impressed with Uxbridge College’s students - their dedication was palpable, they took their guiding incredibly seriously and the way they related the history of Anne Frank and the Holocaust to their own experiences was very moving. The Trust would be very pleased to work with Uxbridge College again in future on something similar as part of our continuing work to empower young people with the knowledge, skills and confidence to challenge all forms of prejudice and discrimination.”

The Trust has also invited a group of students to its headquarters to take part in a film being made about what young people gain from the experience and how it is relevant to their own lives, and to learn about how the Trust raises money, manages its education work, and runs the charity. Uxbridge College is the first College the Trust has worked with, in addition to its work with schools, prisons and in the community.

As well as teaching the students about Anne Frank’s life, Nazi Germany, the Holocaust and the Second World War, the exercise helped them improve their presentation skills and gain confidence in participation.

Anne Frank, her family, and four others went into hiding in the annex during World War II to escape Nazi persecution. The group was eventually betrayed, discovered and deported to concentration camps. Anne died of typhus at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp at the age of fifteen.

For images from this event go to

IMG 0083A sponsored cycle and row from the Eiffel Tower to Trafalgar Square has raised a massive £4,300 for the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) - although the action took place at Uxbridge College on static bikes and rowing machines.

The gruelling 266km ride from Paris to Calais, 34km across the English Channel, and remaining 120km from Dover to London was completed by teams of eight sporty students and staff - with a bit of help from some not-quite-so-fit ‘guest’ riders and rowers - who took turns with 15 minute bike sprints and 10 minute rows in an attempt to complete the equivalent distance.

The first team to hit the target - at which point everyone else gratefully gave up - was the Pink Team who completed the journey in 13hrs 21mins and 44 seconds. The teams started at 4.45am.

The fundraising was also supported by a themed raffle with prizes including a signed Arsenal Ladies shirt, a QPR men’s signed shirt, a signed photo of rower Sir Steve Redgrave, a golf day for four at The Shire London, a £50 voucher from intu Uxbridge shopping centre, and skincare products and cosmetics by Rodial and Benefit.

A cake stall offering ‘good versus evil cakes’ - sugary and creamy cakes up against healthy options such as low sugar flapjacks - also helped keep everyone going and raised money towards the cause.

Sport Lecturer Richard Johnson, who led the event, said: “It was extremely challenging and harder than anyone imagined - people had cramp and were in tears. It was a real test of character to have to keep on going when you’ve already given all you’ve got. It was a massive success with great energy and so much positivity. There was also awesome leadership from students with lots of focus on raising and collecting money.”

Standout participants included sports lecturer Stuart Clapson who completed the fastest cycle with 11km in 15 minutes, and the top individual fundraiser was student Matt Severn who raised £380.

The event was co-ordinated by Richard, whose own experiences of cardiac problems inspired the choice of charity, and was the second in aid of CRY held at Uxbridge College. Next year’s event is already being planned with suggestions including getting a group of staff and students together to climb Mount Kilimanjaro (the real one).

Richard spent the first two months of his life in hospital after being born with a hole in the heart and related issues, and as he grew up was repeatedly warned by doctors to avoid strenuous exercise. However he has been involved in cross-country running and other sports since he was a teenager and continues to be in better health than might be expected.

View photo album from the event


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