The Itchen Chapter has finished, let the next one begin…

On the 18th of June I finished my final exam at Itchen College, I can’t believe it’s been two years already! When I first started at Itchen, I had no idea what to expect. For me, the choice to go to Itchen was just to go to the nearest college in order to finally finish my A level exams to go off to University. I did not expect the intense and life-changing experience that I had received.

I always joined my teachers on the front lines... often bringing them a little something for their hard work!
I always joined my teachers on the front lines… often bringing them a little something for their hard work! (L-R, Me, Allison Burns, Sadie Garner)

There were many struggles that were overcome. The most prominent one was that of the students union. On my induction day in 2013, I was approached to join it. I thought it would be that, the likes of which are common at university. I was wrong. It was nothing more than a lunchtime club (run by teachers) to sort out charity events, is there anything wrong with that? No. But there were other functions the student union had to do in order to actually be a proper “students union”. After many battles, I finally became Vice-Chair for 2014/15 with Gregory Smith as the Chair. Greg is probably one of the best people to work with in situations like these, so I’d like to thank him for his hard work and his good humour when times were tough. Last year, to ensure the students union was just that – we created the 2014/15 Strategy, multiple committees (and “job” descriptions for potential officers), a whole structure for the election for the next chair (we worked with Fareham Borough Council for ballot boxes, creating a notice of poll, nomination papers, finance sheets for spending) and even a constitution.¬†¬†After the Itchen Student Union (ISU) election, the winning candidate Reet Chen became Chair and the runner-up, George Presdee became Vice-Chair. I wish them both every success for next year’s student union. I’d also like to thank every member of the ISU for their hard work in everything we’ve accomplished. We were the most successful students’ union in recent times and you all deserve congratulations for that.

For a short time I was on the Itchen Governing Body as a Student Governor, a role in which I had enjoyed but had to resign after I soon realised that I couldn’t do everything. In order to be able to do your A Levels, run a general election campaign and be the chair of your local residents’ association there are some sacrifices you must make, and for me it was a hard decision but I had to call it a day. I’d like to thank Trevor Little, the clerk of the Itchen Governing Body, for his help and support while I was on there.

But overall I’d like to thank my teachers David Bown, Sadie Garner, Allison Burns, Mel Lockheart, Caroline Counsell, Lucy Scovell, Bridget Jones, Marcus Whitney, Chris Bluemel, Dawn Hitchcock, Adrian Blakey, Tim Dennis and whoever else I’ve (sorry) forgotten to add! You’ve all been tremendously inspirational to me and thank you all for giving me hope. I certainly enjoyed being on the front line with you every time there was a strike… it seems the battle is far from over there!

To finish, I’d like to finally thank the principal, Barry Hicks. We’ve disagreed pretty vocally about many things, often matters with the ISU, however I can’t say goodbye without saying thank you for keeping the college afloat in these times of austerity to allow me and many people to get an education at Itchen.

Now what next? Well we won’t know for certain until the 13th of August which is results day. Should I get into University, I will resign my post as Chair of the Warsash Residents Association and I am determined to continue on the committee to help promote them on social media. If I don’t get in, then I shall continue on and look for work. Regardless of the outcome I will stand again for Warsash in next year’s local election, I am determined to represent the people who have given me so much growing up in Warsash.

But until then, I’m still taking a bit of a break…

Thanks for reading.

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Miles

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