Enjoy a first-class education by the coast 

Female hairdressing student cutting a woman's hair

Suffolk New College offers hair and beauty programmes at its On The Coast campuses - Credit: Pagepix

Suffolk New College has opened two ‘On The Coast’ campuses in recent years. The new head of centre – Sherry Storer – considers it a ‘rare privilege’ to help support the people of Leiston, Halesworth and surrounding areas. Here, she tells us more.  

Give us a bit of background about the campuses 

In 2018, Suffolk New College opened a College On The Coast campus in Leiston. The idea behind this was to support people of all ages who are living in areas that are perceived to be rurally isolated. Two years on, a second College On the Coast was launched in Halesworth with the same intentions. 

So, what is the vision? 

The vison of these two campuses is to work closely with local partners, develop business links, provide specific learning opportunities for 16 to 18-year-olds, support families and individuals who are living in this part of the region and develop community links. 

You say you want to work with the community – tell us what you’ve done and what your future plans are 

We want to reach out to the local community and support them via the programmes we offer and the events that we host. As part of our work with the community, we have a salon at our campus in Halesworth that offers people the chance to enjoy a variety of different hair and beauty treatments at very affordable prices.  

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We also hosted a jobs fair in Leiston, and thanks to a link up with East Suffolk Council, a group of Halesworth District Councillors have helped to fund a series of cookery workshops to support low-income families.  

In addition to this, our games design learners recently spent a day with the local artist, Laurence Edwards, who created the iconic Yoxman sculpture. In terms of future plans, we are in the process of developing a leisure learning programme.  

What kind of leisure courses will you be offering? 

The idea is to create a series of masterclasses with inspirational people who are living in the county. We are looking to team up local food partners and chefs with the aim of hosting a weekend culinary experience. Other courses will offer participants the chance to indulge their passion for a subject that they love in a relaxed environment that may lead to life-long friendships. 

So, what’s on offer at the Halesworth campus in terms of full and part-time options? 

We have a mixture of level one and level two catering, construction, engineering, English, hair and beauty, hospitality, maths and motor vehicle programmes. 

And what’s on offer in Leiston? 

We have supported several hundred students since opening and from September 2022, options will include art, games design, media and events, as well as travel and tourism. We believe there are so many options in terms of supporting the arts and the tourism industries in this part of the county, and our courses will all look to reflect this and support the many individuals and businesses who work in this field.   

So, why should people choose to study or work with you? 

I consider this a rare privilege to help support the people of Leiston, Halesworth and the surrounding areas. We are incredibly excited to have been given the opportunity to help learners of all ages progress with us to further and higher educational opportunities and careers. We are keen to work with as many people and businesses as possible – so my message is reach out to us – we would love to hear from you. 

Anything else you would like to mention? 

We are currently working on a transport strategy to help enable students in and around Leiston and Halesworth to access our campuses more easily. Also, if people want to have a look at what we do, they can visit www.suffolk.ac.uk or call 01473 382778.