PSU Donates Spring Tech Dance Profits to Chemo Hero

On Wednesday 15th March Petroc students donned their capes and all-important masks, vital for hiding their true identities, in an effort to transform themselves into their favourite superheroes. The theme of this year’s Spring Tech Dance, ‘Superheroes for Chemo Hero’, proved a popular one attracting special guests such as Wolverine, Wonder Woman and the Mario Bros to name a few. Photos from the night can be viewed on the Tech Dance Facebook page or by clicking here.

Last month the Student Union met with the founder of Chemo Hero, Lisa Wallis, to handover the profits raised for the local charity as a result of the Spring Tech Dance. Lisa shared her story and reasons for founding the charity with the Student Union’s Executive Committee. Lisa is a two time survivor of cancer, who set up the charity after her own experiences of chemotherapy. She commented on how patients often left their first treatment with little more than a bunch of leaflets, and felt that she could do something to help add a little positivity to the process. Inspired by the ‘bounty boxes’ given to new mothers, Lisa created the ‘boxes of kindness’ that Chemo Hero are now known for. These boxes generally contain items which can help make the treatments more comfortable, although there are some products which are included with the simple intention of putting a smile on the receiver’s face. Each box might include such things as hand moisturiser and skincare products, bottled water, tea bags, fluffy socks, pill boxes and colouring books, as well as vouchers for a day out or free beauty/pamper treatments.

ChemoHero Handover

Founder of Chemo Hero, Lisa Wallis (second from right), with PSU 16/17 and 17/18 Officers.

The Officers greatly admire all the hard work Chemo Hero does to help those in the local area who face the often unpleasant treatments that result from the already devastating diagnosis of cancer. They were all in awe of Lisa’s ability to turn her own painful experiences into something so positive. It was therefore with great pride and joy they handed over a total donation of £1’706.34.




Post-16 Mental Health: useful sources of information Websites

MHAW17 Header image

If you’re worried about your own, or someone else’s mental health the links listed below offer a range of resources targeted at students with the aim of educating you on a variety of Mental Health conditions, how and where to seek help and how to look after your, or a friend’s, mental wellbeing. There’s also several articles on how to deal with and overcome exam stress and anxiety as we know that this can be a particularly stressful and overwhelming time of year for most students.

For more things mental health check out the Petroc Mental Health Committee Facebook page by clicking here.

MH Advice graphic.png
The voice for young people’s mental health & well-being
Mental Health Charity – A-Z of mental health particularly useful
Most anxiety-related issues covered in detail
Excellent CBT-style approach to anxiety. NOTE: same website also offers info on depression, suicide, psychosis & many other conditions
General info on anxiety and details of youth helpline
General resources and personal stories about MH
Most MH conditions aimed at young people and teachers
Very good resources geared towards YPMH
Booklets on many MH conditions
Young people & Suicide
Issues around depression
A-Z of key MH issues & conditions
CBT-style approach to depression. Clearly explained
Many, well-written NHS self-help booklets

Useful Links for Exam Stress

keep calm and study on

International Women’s Day

Wednesday 8th March marked International Woman’s Day, a global campaign that celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women whilst driving the international movement towards gender equality. This year’s theme, #BeBoldForChange, inspired the organisation of various activities across the county. One example being the ‘Nurture, Nourish and Restore’ morning which North Devon Sunrise hosted at Barnstaple Library. This event offered local women the chance to take some time out to look after their wellbeing.

Petroc Student’s Union’s Women’s Officer, Millie Hood, planned a series of workshops that took place at the college throughout the day. A great number of students attended these workshops in order to gain insight into the current conflict and political tension in Palestine and how this has impacted Palestinian women. These sessions drew particular attention to how it has become increasingly difficult for women in Gaza to access treatment for Breast Cancer and how students could get involved in campaigns to tackle this issue.


The Guidance Centre exhibited a board displaying the achievements of women from a variety of different fields throughout the week.





TECH DANCE 17: Superheroes for Chemo Hero


Spring is just around the corner – although we’d forgive you for thinking otherwise what with the weather we’ve been having – which means it’s time for another Tech Dance.

This term we’re raising money for the local charity, Chemo Hero. Chemo Hero works tirelessly to deliver a little goody box of kindness to every Cancer patient going through Chemotherapy in North Devon.

The Spring Tech Dance will take place on Wednesday 15th March, 8pm until midnight at Palace, Bideford.  Tickets for the event are priced at £5 and will be on sale from Monday 27th February, 12.30 -2.30pm at the Egg every day until sell out.

Please be aware you must show a valid Petroc Student ID card per ticket purchased.

Everything Ellie Tech Dance: students look what you’ve raised!



Members of Everything Ellie including Justine Easton and Sophie Isaac (centre) alongside PSU officers (L to R) Jum Fernandez, Angelli Badillo, Adam Gillard, Oona McBride and Ewan Somerville

When we announced that our chosen charity for this year’s Autumn Tech Dance was Everything Ellie, it was touching how strong the support was from you, students. We said tickets would be gold dust – over 500 sold out in two and a half days. And wow, we were impressed with those Neon 80s outfits.

Read more…

REVEALED: The big announcement

DISCOVER MORE: Everything Ellie

Keep in touch with your union

We hope you enjoyed the night, and thank you for making it so special, all in aid of such a great cause. But we’re not the only ones saying thank you, because Everything Ellie couldn’t be more grateful. Yes, because on Monday (November 21) we handed them the cheque… Wait for it… for £1,388,38!!

It’s fair to say that when we met Everything Ellie on Monday they were very overwhelmed, proud, and touched by the level of support you have given them. Justine Easton, Ellie’s mum and an original founder of the charity, explained to us that this amount of money will fund a year and a half worth of rent for their Saunton beach hut, and move them a step closer to their ultimate goal of a getting a lodge. The difference that this will make to the lives of families facing such difficult times is unimaginable.

‘Proud as can be’

Justine Easton, Ellie’s mum and an original founder of the charity, said: “Our family feel as proud as can be on the success of the charity so far and particularly the Tech Dance & college students involved. These students would have gone to school with Ellie, seen how she quietly coped – they know what a kind and unassuming girl she was, and I’m sure this would have played a big part in them wanting to make it a huge success.

“Never would she have believed how much she was thought of by so many; it really is overwhelming. Family was everything to Ellie and to help others just have time together gets us through each day. I hope the students realise just what a big part they’ve played in its sucess already. Making a difference is a great feeling.”
Our Entertainment Officer Adam Gillard, who organised the event, said: “Our Autumn Tech Dance has been a huge success this year even though we have had a number of obstacles to overcome! Quite a few of the current students at the college were best friends with Ellie so it has meant a lot to us all that we have raised so much for a charity that was set up in Ellie’s honour.
“Everything Ellie is an amazing charity with some truly inspiring volunteers working hard behind the scenes. It makes me very proud to think that we will have directly affected the lives of families that are in the same situation that Ellie and her family were in, whilst having provided a great night of entertainment for the students of Petroc all at the same time.”

You are incredible, and we will sure be continuing the close relationship with Everything Ellie that we have developed in the last few months. What a difference you have made.

TECH DANCE has arrived, so enjoy!



Tech Dance has arrived, oh yes.

But REMEMBER: Do you want this to be the last ever Tech Dance? We guess not, so please stay in control and out of trouble – the Police turned up at our meeting a fortnight ago and said they will ban it COMPLETELY if we don’t behave.

And of course it’s all in dedication to the wonderful Everything Ellie, who continue to transform and fulfill lives every day.

It’s taken a lot of hard work by our Entertainment Officer Adam Gillard to get it organised, our Communications Officer Ewan Somerville to get it publicised, and of course Kath Yates from the Student Support team at Petroc, who has helped Adam with all the logistics.

Tickets sold out in two and a half days, and thanks to you we have raised vast amounts for Everything Ellie, which we’ll be announcing in due course.

Most of all THANK YOU. Now one thing is left: ENJOY!!

Any further questions about the night, contact us



We are delighted that our Entertainment Officer Adam Gillard and his friend, Fresh FM DJ Ted Sharp will be taking on the ultimate Mission Unbreakable challenge on Sunday (16 October).

Described as “the toughest 10k you will ever experience”, the course features all the elements, including fire, water, ice, and (don’t worry) plenty of mud…

Designed with the help of Commando Engineers from 24 Commando Engineer Regiment, based at RMB Chivenor, the course is not for the light-hearted, but it’s all in aid of the fantastic North Devon Hospice so we hope you’ll support Adam and Ted!

Adam said: “Me and Ted are really excited to be participating in this event as it’s going to be a lot of fun and for a really great cause. We have both been training for this for a couple of months and we both feel ready to face this great challenge with all of our efforts.

“We are hoping to raise as much money as we possibly can for the hospice as they do some amazing work and need the money to continue what they’re doing to such a great standard!

“Please donate if you have a spare but of money to support both us and the North Devon Hospice”

You can support Adam and Ted in their incredible feat for NORTH DEVON HOSPICE here:





So, our Autumn Tech Dance charity has been decided – the amazing Everything Ellie; you have chosen the theme – Neon 80s; and we can confirm today that the venue remains Palace (formerly called Caesars Palace) in Bideford, the time 20.00-midnight.

But now we can announce that… TICKETS will be on sale ALL NEXT WEEK!

We will be at THE EGG between 12.20-14.30 throughout next week (Monday 3-Friday 7 October). Tickets are £5 each, or £10 including a private bus (more details to come). All profits from the tickets will go to the wonderful Everything Ellie. Thanks to your support at our last Tech Dance in the spring, we raised over £1,500 for an African charity.

Upon purchase, you will receive a WRISTBAND that you MUST wear on the night to gain entry into the venue. We will also have brochures, posters and balloons from Everything Ellie at The Egg so you can find out what you’re supporting by coming along to Tech Dance.

It’s going to be a brilliant night folks, and it couldn’t be for a better cause.

Any questions? Contact us or drop by the Student Union office in the Guidance Centre and speak to Laura any time.


EXCLUSIVE: BBC team reveal the wildlife secrets of New Guinea


It’s unmissable. This Saturday night, YOU can hear the experiences of a BBC production team who recently shot a wildlife documentary in New Guinea. The event at Croyde Village Hall, organised and hosted by North Devon Moving Image, will see the team’s film, Tribes, Predators & Me: Crocodile People of the New Guinea will be screened in full, along with exclusives from other upcoming BBC wildlife series. The team will also reveal behind the scenes exclusives from the Tribes, Predators & Me series and answer questions from the audience.

In an exclusive interview with NDMI, sent to Petroc Student Union, Dr Ted Oakes, Series Producer for the BBC Natural History Unit (who will be leading Saturday night’s event) said: “Over the last two decades I’ve travelled the world as a proud TV producer for the BBC Natural History Unit, having worked with David Attenborough and more recently with Scottish wildlife presenter, Gordon Buchanan on the BBC series Tribes, Predators & Me. Together Gordon and our team have also made The Bear Family & Me, Polar Bear, Snow Wolf , Gorilla, and Elephant Family & Me.

“I’m from Canada, but you just couldn’t make these shows anywhere else in the world except in Britain with the BBC. They’ve changed the way I (and hopefully the audiences’) thinks about nature. Many of these TV shows have had a connection with North Devon, musically or even just with something as simple as local quad bike training. It’s a little known secret but many of the people working at the BBC Natural History Unit in Bristol are from Devon or North Devon.

 “I was pleased to be approached by Amanda McCormack and Keira Carroll at North Devon Moving Image (NDMI) to be involved with ‘North Devon Wild Shorts’ the first local wildlife and environment film-making competition. This Saturday evening 24th September at 7pm at the Croyde Deck Chair Cinema myself and friends from the Natural History Unit will host an evening of film, food and chat together with NDMI and local wildlife experts. It’s a way to get people involved with this festival and to make us think about our local nature too.”
NDMI and the BBC team will screen the BBC film Tribes, Predators & Me: Crocodile People of the New Guinea and show some sneak previews of other upcoming BBC wildlife series. It’s a chance to meet people working in broadcast TV, local film-makers and those with a passion for nature and the local environment and an event suitable for all ages. There will be food and refreshments on hand.
All are welcome and tickets are £6 and £4 for under 18s and can be bought online from the North Devon Moving Image website

To find out more contact Amanda McCormack at or telephone 01271 860610

Hey, #TechThisOut…


Listen up, because the Petroc Library Technology and Learner Services team have set up a brand new project for YOU to share how you learn using technology with other students, a fantastic opportunity to enhance your CV and make a difference!

The project, #TechThisOut was launched at Fresher’s Fayre last Thursday (15 September). 

Töm Scott, Learning Technologies Coordinator, said: “We’re looking for students who are enthusiastic, have an interest in journalism, technology or teaching, or simply have a little creative flare to join our team.

 “We’d like to meet with them on a monthly basis, possibly having a video conference with students at the MD Campus.

“During these meetings we would discuss our findings, and share knowledge with one another, and work out what we should be writing about in the near future, and work together to find the best ways to get the information out to staff and students.”

Between meetings, the team are urging participants to tweet, post videos and blog about the technology they use in their learning, search online for tips that will help other students and share what they have learned.

Aside from enjoyment and making a real difference to the college community, those involved with the #TechThisOut will get an exclusive badge (come on, we love those), learn more about technology and e-learning, work with lecturers to alter the way courses are taught using technology, invaluable experience for the CV and UCAS form and (because why not) cake and sweets!

So come on, what are you waiting for? GET INVOLVED by popping into the library, tweeting @PetrocLTLS, or emailing

Any questions, just ask the Library/Study Centre staff – they’re always happy to help!