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Students lend a helping hand at local charity exhibition

Eastleigh College’s Level 3 Health and Social Care students recently put their training into practice as they supported visitors at an exhibition which is the biggest of its kind in the South East.

Local charity Open Sight, invited Eastleigh College students to The Eye Contact exhibition, which showcased the latest equipment and services available to those with, or at risk of sight loss. Students guided visitors who were visually impaired around the venue throughout the day and was an opportunity for the next generation of carers to gain hands-on experience in the health and social care setting.

Following on from the training students undertook at College earlier this term studying sight guiding, the exhibition was a fantastic opportunity for students to put into practice the knowledge they learned in the classroom, preparing them for their future working in health and social care. The event was also an opportunity for students to find out more about the equipment used in industry and understand when they may come across these facilities in their future role within the industry.

Open Sight has worked with the College for many years giving students experience working in the industry, helping to prepare them for their next steps. Debbie Ross, Business Development Manager at Open Sight comments “The partnership working with Eastleigh College has been fantastic and we know that the experience the students gain can be taken onto employment. It’s really important for us to share with students what it’s like working in the industry and give them hands on experiences of what it is like to be tomorrow’s carers.”

This year’s exhibition benefited the students in more ways than one, and was also an opportunity for students to engage with the community and boost self-confidence. Shauna, a health and social care student who attended the event explains “Before the exhibition I was really nervous and didn’t want to do anything wrong, but I gave it a go and helped a man with no vision. After helping people around, I realised that I could do it, I enjoyed the experience and it gave me more confidence.”

The exhibition also had a positive impact on the visitors who appreciated the support they received and described the student guides as "excellent, lovely, polite and very helpful". Health and Social Care lecturer Jules Vince adds, "I’m proud of our students and the support they offered visitors at the exhibition and look forward to continuing to work with Open Sight.”

We aim to get students Career Ready with hands-on experience which helps to prepare them for their next steps, whether that’s further education, training or employment.

To find out more about the range of full-time courses and Apprenticeships we offer, call 023 8091 1299 or email