A Christmas Message


Festive Events

Christmas came to South West College this week, with a variety of events across or campuses helping staff and students get into the festive spirit. ‘Coffee Morning and Carols’ was held in the Gallery restaurant in Omagh, with over £140 raised for our chosen charity, Action Mental Health. Thanks in particular to the STEP staff and students, the Catering staff, and of course the Choir and everyone else involved in providing the singing.



‘Coffee Morning and Carols’ in the Gallery restaurant, where £140 was raised for Action Mental Health.

Thank you to everyone who supported the Christmas Craft Fair on Tuesday 5th December. The final count for Omagh stalls totalled £130.15 This money will be donated to the college charity of the year which is Action Mental Health. Thank you again for the support and positive feedback given to our Business Studies students on the day, they thoroughly enjoyed the experience!

Christmas was also in full flow in our Enniskillen Campus with the annual carol service led by the ASDAN group under Winnie Boylan’s tutelage.

Table Quiz for Philip Glasgow

The Christmas spirit continued in Omagh with a Table Quiz for Philip Glasgow in the Gallery restaurant on Wednesday. Philip was a Site Carpentry student in Omagh from 2009 to 2012, during which time he represented SWC in Skillbuild competitions regionally, nationally and at European level, with outstanding results.  Philip also represented SWC in the WorldSkills competition and was awarded Apprentice of the Year NI & UK by the Federation of Master Builders. He was truly an exceptional student.

Sadly Philip was involved in a serious site accident in February 2017 and sustained major injuries. He is slowly recovering, but he has a long journey ahead of him. As such, to show Philip we are thinking of him, Omagh staff gathered for the quiz, where donations were made. With Philip and his parents in attendance, we hope it provided them with a financial and moral boost in this very difficult time.

Philip’s former tutor, Tony McGartland, said: ‘Thank you to each and every one of you who took part in the Quiz yesterday in support of Philip Glasgow. As you can imagine it is a difficult time for him and his family. With your support the family will be able to purchase a specially adapted chair for Philip which they have been looking at. Special thanks to Clair McKenna for organising this event, to Susanne for her hospitality and staff/students in The Gallery who organised the refreshments. Thanks also to Quiz Master Tony McConnell. Last night I received this message from Philip himself…“Thanks for everything today, it was very good of you all. I really appreciate it” Thanks again.’

Of course despite the fundraising taking precedent, that didn’t stop the competitive spirit when our staff teamed up and went head to head. A fantastic fourteen teams pitted their general knowledge and Christmas trivia against one another. After six rounds of tough questions (and the occasional hotly contested answer), three teams finished level on points, and it was eventually the ‘Ho Ho Ho’s’ who won, after they answered the tie-breaker question right. Congratulations to them!

The tie-breaker question was: What is the largest selling Christmas song of all time?

Would you have got it right? You can check the answer here…


Staff Children’s Party

The Staff Children’s Christmas part took place in the Omagh Campus on Tuesday and Enniskillen on Thursday. With a wonderfully decorated Christmas area, the help of plenty of staff and students, and of course a visit form the man of the hour, it was an exciting and thoroughly enjoyed occasion for dozens of young children. Thanks and congratulations to everyone involved in organising this continuously successful annual event.

The Children’s Party in Dungannon will take place next Wednesday.

Sports Psychologist Shares insights with Students

Of course Christmas hasn’t brought everything to a halt just yet, and there were a number of other engaging and important events across the college in the last two weeks.

In the ever changing world of sport, one of the major innovations of recent years has been the growing introduction and influence of sports psychology. High profile individuals have thrived because of it, teams have turned to it ahead of major tournaments, and in the reported case of new Everton manager, Sam Allardyce, struggling clubs have used it to repair the fragile confidence of under performing players.

Last week, South West College welcomed Kelley Fay, from KF Performance Psychology, to talk to sports students about sports psychology as a career, and give them an example of the clients she works with and the interventions she performs. Read all about it on Way out West…

Architectural Visualisation Workshops

SWC recently engaged with a number of local architects to introduce them to methods and processes that could help evolve their digital creative presentation skills. As part of an on-going project with Connected, we are working to help modernise how local companies present and share information. The Digital Visualisation strand of the Connected project, led by Paul McGovern, lecturer in game design, aims to provide companies with insight and support into the use of modern industry standard software tools and processes within the area of creative digital visualisation.

The College is actively exploring the use of virtual and augmented reality concepts and has expertise in the area of game design, digital visualisation, animation and design thinking methodologies. These skillsets mirrored by investment in state of the art equipment, allow South West College to help modern industry in their visualisation skills.

Architecture is perhaps not an area where you might immediately expect to find game based solutions useful, however most modern businesses wish to present information effectively, meaning that digital visualisation can help. Curriculum manager Stephen Moss stated, “architects and aspects of the construction industry have a need to share information focused graphical content, this can be achieved to great effect through the use of game based technologies.”

Manufacture Engineering – Product Showcase

The Foundation Degree in Manufacture Engineering, Product Showcase took place in Dungannon this week. Students have been working in the STEM Centre since October on a PBL basis, during which time they have had workshops in Prototyping, 3D Printing, Presenting and Pitching. This week, industry professionals from various employers, such as Terex, CDE, Edge Innovate and Greiner Packaging, were invited to the STEM Centre to see the final showcase of the designed products, which included: a device that would feed pet fish remotely; a tool Box Security device that would alert you if someone opened your toolbox; a device that could prepare your coffee using an app on your phone; and a poisonous gas detector.


The STEM Centre held the third workshop for Miss STEM Europe on Thursday 7th December, where groups were able to define the points they want to put forward into their ‘females in STEM’ action plan. Also present was Cllr Kim Ashton, Chair of Mid Ulster Council, who gave some of her top tips for presenting to council. As a woman with a STEM background herself, Cllr Ashton was able to spend some time with the group and provide lots of input for the project, helping to create another great day with a very forward thinking group of students.

SWC Student App Competition

The new SWC Student App was launched on the 11th of October this year. To celebrate this we ran a code breaking competition with an Amazon Echo as first prize. Congratulations to the following students who successfully broke the code and had their names drawn from the hat:

  • Alex Kovacs, I.T. student Omagh Campus
  • Andrew Leathem, I.T. student Enniskillen Campus
  • Joshua O’Neill, Engineering student Dungannon Campus

Many thanks to everyone who entered.

Remember the app is available for download from the Apple App Store and Google Play and is an essential digital tool for all students. So if you haven’t done so please download now!


Congratulations to the Level 1 Customer Service Class on raising £85.12 for the Grovehill Animal trust, and thank you to everyone who supported them.

Congratulations to Marie McGlone who won the Christmas Craft Fair Hamper. Thanks to all the staff who supported the Craft Fair, and to all the local businesses that donated prizes for the hamper. A fantastic £324.00 was raised for Action Mental Health.

Also a big thank you to everyone who supported the ‘Christmas Craft Fair’ on Tuesday 5th December. The final count for Omagh stalls totalled £130.15

This money will be donated to the college charity of the year which is ‘Action Mental Health’. Thanks you again for the support and positive feedback given to our Business Students from Dungannon, Enniskillen and Omagh on the day, they thoroughly enjoyed the experience!

Graduation 2017

Thanks to everyone that’s volunteered their service for Graduation next Tuesday. All staff involved should meet in the minor hall of the Leisure Centre at 10.15am on Tuesday, where brunch will be available on arrival (tea, coffee, drinks, sausage rolls, bacon baps and scones). At 10.45am there will be a briefing and final assignment of duties.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact Susanne Workman.