Carers Week

Carers help to hold our communities and country together – but the vital work they do often goes unseen.

That is something this year’s Carers Week, which runs from 7 June to 13 June, is determined to change.

The awareness raising campaign celebrates the unpaid work of millions of people who support relatives or friends who are growing older or who have a disability or a mental or physical illness.


Carers Week has provided its own definition and it is deliberately lengthy – to reflect the breadth of activities carers are involved in.

The campaign defines a carer as someone who “cares (unpaid) for family or friends who have a disability, illness or who need support in later life: Washing them. And their laundry. And their dishes. Keeping appointments. And records. And tempers.

“Giving medicine. And time. And hugs. Filling forms. And fridges. And silences. Dealing with doctors. And nurses. And pharmacists. And social workers. And benefits agencies. And care workers. And a lack of sleep.”

 Carers UK estimates that there are about 6.5 million carers, of all ages, in the UK – though in 2020 that figure more than doubled, to 13.6 million, because of the pandemic.

Many look after more than one person and provide more than 50 hours of caring each week.


This year’s theme is Making Caring Visible and Valued, which aims to make more people recognise the enormous contribution made by carers and ensure they get the practical, financial and emotional support they need.

 Carers UK is teaming up with Age UK, Carers Trust, Motor Neurone Disease Association, Oxfam GB and Rethink Mental Illness for Carers Week 2021.

The six charities are calling on individuals, services and organisations across the country to get involved.


Anyone can leave a message of support on the Carers Week website’s Add Your Voice wall or Pledge Your Support section.


Hundreds of different activities have been organised across the country. A full guide – with interactive map – can be found on the campaign’s website where there are also tips on how to stage your own, virtual events for carers.

 Locally, two virtual Lunch and Learn workshops are being held by Carers Leeds. For more details and to book a place follow these links:


Harrogate College Principal Danny Wild said: “Carers Week and the support it offers to carers, by highlighting their invaluable but often unseen work, is really important to us as a college as it connects with our own values of nurturing and inclusiveness.”


Speaking on behalf of the Carers Week charities, Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said: “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic unpaid carers have played an essential role supporting older, disabled and seriously ill relatives and friends, doing so most of the year on their own behind closed doors.

“They have forgone breaks from caring and much of the support they would normally have relied on.

“As restrictions ease it is vital that we acknowledge the enormous contribution that unpaid carers continue to make day in day out. I am delighted that many individuals and organisations are getting involved with virtual activities, helping carers to connect to others and access advice and information locally.

“Looking after someone can be a hugely rewarding experience, but it sometimes comes with difficulties, including getting the right support. This Carers Week I hope all parts of the community – family and friends, employers, businesses, schools, health and care services – do their bit to make caring visible and show it is valued.”


Support and advice for local carers is provided by Carers’ Resource – visit here for more details or call the Harrogate office on (01423) 500555.

Chance to shape a greener future for Harrogate

‘Don’t miss the chance to play a part in Harrogate’s first ever Climate Action Festival!’

That’s the message from Harrogate College as preparations firm up for an event that aims to showcase the many different ‘solutions to climate damage’ that are being pursued by individuals, groups and businesses.

The inaugural Harrogate District Climate Action Festival (CAFé) takes place from October 1 to 23 and Harrogate College will play a key role by hosting the launch day on Saturday 2 October.

Sponsored by Techbuyer and entitled What Does the Future Look Like? the launch event is being run through the Harrogate District Climate Change Coalition and will feature exhibitors from across the country.

Sign up for Climate Action Festival launch day

Harrogate College’s Performance and Projects Coordinator, Holly Hansen-Maughan, says lots of people have already signed up  – but there’s still time to get involved.

She said: “This festival will be a huge asset for the Harrogate District and play an important part in the wider drive to protect our environment.

“The event will raise awareness of climate change and the need for sustainability to be embedded into everything we do.

“The college wants to be at the forefront of helping to provide the skills that are required for the green economy and jobs of the future.

“That’s why we want as many people as possible, including charities, community groups and businesses, to come along to the launch event – which has been generously sponsored by local firm Techbuyer – and explore what the future looks like.”

An opportunity to make a difference

She added: “Please get in touch to secure an opportunity to network with other businesses, exhibit to the public and make a difference!”

The CAFé launch event and community action day runs at Harrogate College from 10am to 4pm on October 2 and will include a variety of hands-on demonstrations and talks celebrating achievements in the green economy.

To register send an email to

The festival will also include a business conference, entitled Towards Net Zero Business and sponsored by Chameleon Technology, at Harrogate Convention Centre on 15 October. 

Businesses that wish to be involved can be directed to the relevant members of the Harrogate District Climate Change Coalition by emailing Holly or visiting

A variety of fringe events, including a Digital Sustainability Conference for Children, will also be held by businesses and community groups across the event’s whole three weeks.

Harrogate College has made becoming a Net Zero Carbon College one of its strategic priorities.

Help us deliver the workforce you need

Businesses are being offered a chance to help create the workforce they need – by joining the Harrogate College Employers’ Network.

The network will be launched on Thursday 21 October when some of the biggest names from the district’s business community, including Techbuyer, will be among the attendees.

Keen to support the local economy, the college wants to hear from local employers about the exact skills they need so that it can tailor its courses accordingly.

Principal of Harrogate College Danny Wild, who will be taking part on the day, said the aim of the new network was to deliver a truly employer-led curriculum.

Tailoring courses to match the needs of our community

He said: “We value the input of local employers and believe they should help shape our curriculum so they can access the skills and training they need now and in the future.

“That is why we are launching the Harrogate College Employers’ Network.

“This is an opportunity for employers to influence the content of our courses so that they get the skilled employees they need coming through.

“We are launching this network to serve and match the needs of our community and hope lots of local businesses will join up, contribute and reap the benefits.”

A multitude of benefits

Performance and Projects Coordinator at Harrogate College, Holly Hansen-Maughan, added: “The network will be an opportunity for employers to influence the content of the college’s courses so that they are provided with what they need.

“Joining involves participating in discussion groups quarterly and brings with it a multitude of benefits, including free advertising and promotion across the college’s media platforms and events.”

Network members will also get:

The initiative coincides with the Government’s drive to ‘level up’ skills across the country, as outlined in the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill.

A key part of the Bill, as outlined by Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Gillian Keegan, is to ensure that the education and training that is on offer ‘meets the needs of employers and local communities’.

The Harrogate College Employers’ Network launch event will run from 10am to 1pm on Thursday 21 October and include a networking buffet lunch at noon.

For more details visit  or email:

Exceptional Results Despite Tough Year

Students and staff at Harrogate College have been praised for achieving exceptional GCSE and A level results despite a ‘challenging ‘year.

The college has been celebrating a successful results week that saw many of its students achieve or exceed their target grades.

Grades rose across the country again this year as Teacher Assessed Grades were once more used in lieu of exams.

Principal Danny Wild said the achievements of Harrogate College’s students were all the more praiseworthy given the many challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A testament to our teachers and students

He said: “We are extremely proud of our students and their achievements during what has been a challenging year for all.

“Fifteen of our courses saw 100% of students passing, and our overall achievement for all students is good.

“And 90% of our English and maths students passed with our high grades, 5-9, which is outstanding.

“It truly is a testament to our teachers who have worked tirelessly to ensure learners have been supported throughout the year, academically and pastorally.

“Our results have been exceptional and we’re looking forward to seeing our students progress further.

“The ongoing development of our degree offer means that students can stay with us if they choose to, giving them a local higher education experience.

“We are here to support young people with their next steps and would encourage them to give us a call on 01423 879466, email, or visit” 

Referring specifically to the college’s GCSE students, he added: “They have worked hard to provide the evidence for their grades, completing tasks such as mock assessments and mini tests.

“This is demonstrated in the achievement of high grades for Maths GCSE students, at 10.2% above the national rate, and GCSE English students, 1.2%. above the national rate.

“Well done to all and good luck for the future.”

New beginnings for adult learners

A number of adult learners were among the GCSE success stories at Harrogate this year.

Nicola Jeffreys is looking forward to moving onto an Access course after passing English and maths. She said: “This means everything! It’s a new beginning for me.

“I’ve always lived my life for my kids – now I can live for me.”

Jacob Ibbetson was also celebrating getting his maths and English GCSEs after narrowly missing out last year. He said: “I am so happy I passed. It is partly down to my English and maths tutors for encouraging me and sticking with me through lockdown.

“I can now go on to do an animal management course and get on with my career.”

Holly Rushworth, who didn’t get her GCSEs at school, was also celebrating passing English and maths.

She said: “I can’t believe I’ve done it.

“I want to do radiography and passing my GCSEs gives me everything I need.”


The countdown to the first ever Harrogate District Climate Action Festival has begun.

There is less than a month to go now until the festival’s launch, What Does the Future Look Like? , at Harrogate College.

Featuring exhibitors from across the county and beyond who will be showcasing innovations in sustainability, the event runs from 10am to 4pm on Saturday 2 October and is being sponsored by Techbuyer – an IT business with sustainability at its core.

The launch will be followed by three weeks of activities, including a Net Zero Business conference and a Sustainability Conference for Children, put together by festival organisers the Harrogate District Climate Change Coalition.

A good fit

Techbuyer may now be a global success story but its roots and headquarters remain in Harrogate. Here, Techbuyer UK’s MD, Mick Payne explains why the business is excited about playing a key role in the Climate Action Festival by supporting its launch.

Q: Why is Techbuyer backing the first Harrogate District Climate Action Festival?

Techbuyer was invited to join the Harrogate District Climate Change Coalition board meetings in late 2019, and has been part of the organisation ever since. It is wonderful to see the coalition’s work take wings with an event like this one, which should raise awareness of the issue locally. It is also nice to support a community event with a positive message.

Q: Do you think the company’s business model, which has refurbishing previously used, refurbished equipment at its core, aligns well with the goals of a green economy?

Yes. There has been a lot of talk about ‘Building Back Better’ after the pandemic, and green jobs are a big part of that. Most people think of these as in renewables, but refurbishment is a big potential growth area too. Following the Right to Repair laws introduced this summer, the Green Alliance estimates that 450,000 jobs could be created in repair and reuse of manufactured goods over the next 15 years to replace manufacturing new equipment.

You also have to look at what goes into initially producing the hardware. The enterprise equipment we deal in requires a lot of carbon to produce. Mining, manufacture, transport to assembly and first use, mean that the average server uses just under a metric ton of carbon in the pre-use phase. Refurbishment and reuse helps reduce the need for that by extending useable product lifespan. It helps with materials shortages too.

What many people don’t realise is that some of the rare materials that go into ICT are predicted to run out in just a few decades’ time. These same materials are also needed to build renewable infrastructure like wind turbines and solar panels. So by making best use of resources in IT, you are helping the green economy develop in energy production too.

A bike to remember

Q: What can you tell us about the amazing looking bicycle you’ll be bringing along to the festival’s launch day at Harrogate College?

One of our marketing gurus commissioned the bike from local artist Steve Blaylock to help publicise the UCI Championships in 2019, as well as raising awareness of the rising global tide in e-waste (now approximately 53m tonnes a year and growing fast).

There was a similar idea around Mount Recyclemore this year for the G7 meeting but ours was earlier and an actual bike! She – I think we named her Victoria Pedalton – is made out of almost 1,000 redundant IT parts and weighs 60kg. She has heatsinks as the pedals and seat, 20 server rails moulded to construct the frame, hundreds of server memory modules and a server fan which gives the bike a set of eyes. She will be available for photos at the community event but not to sit on. It’s a bit too delicate for that!

We can do something about it

Q: How do you think the district and its businesses / organisations are placed to meet the environmental challenges that lie ahead as we try to minimise the damage of global heating?

I think the key to this is attitude and belief. When you look at the numbers, they are a challenge but the good news is that we are in a position to do something about it. That is part of what the festival is about – showing people alternatives for the future and encouraging them to take positive steps.

Q: What can visitors look forward to during the festival, and what would you say to anyone who is interested in coming along / getting involved?

The community launch event is going to be great. There are loads of activities that have been set up by the organisations exhibiting. We’ll be bringing down laptops so people can get to know what’s inside ICT and how it can be upgraded. There will even be pieces for people to work on themselves.

We are also looking at a fossil hunt of obsolete technology with our sister company, Ortial. I believe they are also putting together an interactive trail with QR codes for your phone. There will be electric bikes on show too, and a passive house, so it will be a good event to come to, spend some time, see something interesting and maybe learn something along the way.

I would say come along and get involved! There are also community events happening later in the month for the festival so, if you have an idea, contact the organisers.

Meet an Employer – Round 2

A free webinar series that was started to keep businesses and students in touch during the pandemic is about to resume.

Harrogate College teamed up with the Department for Work and Pensions to launch Meet an Employer in October, 2020. 

The scheme involves the college hosting webinars, featuring local businesses, that are streamed to students and jobseekers to help boost their employability skills and keep them informed of potential opportunities.

An electrifying new start

The online venture proved a hit over its first, ten-session run. Now the college is preparing to launch the second season on Tuesday 5 October with a session featuring eDub – a business that specialises in electric car conversions.

The webinar starts at 1pm and will be an opportunity to find out more about the company and ask questions. Individuals from eDub will also talk about their own career journeys and share insights into how to break into their line of work.

Feedback from the businesses that took part in the first round of Meet an Employer was overwhelmingly positive, with many commenting on what a great opportunity it was to showcase their services while giving something back.

Some of the webinars led to follow-up, one-to-one conversations and even job offers.

Keeping up the momentum

Harrogate College’s Partnerships and Development Lead, Holly Hansen-Maughan, said: “We had such a positive response from the first round of Meet an Employer. The webinars can be viewed by students from across Luminate Education Group – which includes Harrogate College, Leeds City College and Keighley College – and interested jobseekers.

“The scheme was started to help boost job opportunities and mobility, initially during lockdown, while allowing the college to serve its community which is always our number one goal.

“It was very successful and with a new programme of webinars now about to start we are aiming to keep the momentum going.

“We’re hoping lots of students and jobseekers will sign up to take part and I would urge other local businesses who haven’t done so yet to get in touch to see how they can get involved.”

To book a place on the next webinar click here. Details of further Meet an Employer sessions will be added to as the year progresses.Any businesses interested in getting involved should e-mail for more details.

Great day out for a great cause

Saving the planet can be fun!

That’s the message organisers want visitors to the launch of the first Harrogate District Climate Action Festival (CAFé) to take home after enjoying a great day out.

The three-week event will be launched at Harrogate College on Saturday 2 October when dozens of exhibitors will be talking about, and showing, how they are adapting to secure a more sustainable future.

What Does the Future Look Like? is free to attend, runs from 10am to 4pm and aims to inspire visitors while shining a light on all kinds of green innovations.

Live music, educational sheep and some digital orienteering

The day’s entertainment highlights are set to include:

The college’s hospitality students will also be selling food they’ve prepared especially for the occasion. And, at 2pm, festival organisers Harrogate District Climate Change Coalition (HDCCC) will announce the winner of its ‘climate friendly ideas’ schools competition.

Inspiring ideas – and a great day out

Harrogate College’s Partnerships and Development Lead, Holly Hansen-Maughan, said: “Supporting district-wide efforts to secure a greener and fairer future, and providing the green skills that will be needed as we move to a stronger, circular economy is a key part of the college’s work and values.

“This launch day for the district’s first ever Climate Action Festival will be packed with activities that have been designed to entertain, as well as educate, to ensure visitors experience the best of both worlds.

“We would urge everyone to come along and find out more about sustainability and the things we can all do to make a difference – while also enjoying a great day out with some really fun attractions and activities.

“We can’t wait to welcome visitors and get the whole festival off to a flying start!”

The launch, sponsored by Techbuyer, will also include keynote speeches from Andy Shepherd, Professor of Earth Observation at the University of Leeds, and Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones.

The full itinerary for the day includes:

From 10am – 4pm: Over 30 outdoor exhibits including: a model passive house, built on site; electric cars; a map of the world to walk on and follow technology journeys; models of different energy supplies; demonstrations of building and heating systems; information on how homes and businesses can change for the better; digital orienteering activity; furry friends to play with whilst you learn about sustainable wool.

11am-12 noon: Welcome and Keynote speeches from: Neil Coles, Chair of HDCCC; Danny Wild, Principal of Harrogate College; Andrew Jones, MP for Harrogate & Knaresborough; Professor Andy Shepherd, from the School of Earth & Environment, University of Leeds; Clive Wilson, author of Designing the Purposeful World; Trevor Chapman, Mayor of the Borough of Harrogate.

12 noon: A bespoke musical performance by Leeds Conservatoire.

2pm: Festival organisers HDCCC will announce the winner of its ‘climate friendly ideas’ schools competition.

The CAFé as a whole, which runs until 21 October, has been organised to provide a green focal point for the district just before the government hosts the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow on October 31.

The festival will also include a Net Zero business conference at Harrogate Convention Centre on Friday 15 October and a variety of fringe events, including a Sustainability Conference for Children on Thursday 14 October.

For more details visit