NESCol celebrates staff who have given back to the community with the Time to Shine Awards
December 15, 2020
As part of this year’s #SparkleAtNESCol Winter Festival, we invited students and staff to nominate their colleagues, classmates, lecturers and support staff for a Time to Shine Award. The Awards were established as a way to recognise those from within the NESCol community who have had positive impact on the lives of others in the wider community during this unprecedented year.
For two weeks, submissions came in from across the College, full of inspiring stories about our staff and students – people who had given up their own time for others in so many ways. With over 30 incredible nominations to choose from, the panel had a very difficult job on their hands.
Although there could only be three winners, each and every person who was nominated deserves a huge thank you for their acts of selflessness, kindness and compassion. But in the end, after much deliberation, three winners were chosen, and we are delighted to share their stories with you.
The winners are:
- Duncan MacLeod, Curriculum Manager – Computing
- Errol Watt, Lecturer – Construction
- Kenneth Watt – Lecturer – Manufacture & Maintenance Engineering
Duncan received 4 nominations for the Time to Shine Awards. These covered everything from his supportive nature as a manager, his generosity with time and even his ability to make lockdown more bearable for his colleagues through sharing live videos of ospreys. The theme that ran throughout each nomination, however, was Duncan’s contribution to the production of PPE for key workers, for which he used his 3D printer to create visors for frontline staff across the North East.
Duncan said: “I wasn’t expecting it. I was completely surprised. It’s nice to be thought about with everything that’s going on – that people think of me above and beyond the normal work emails and stuff like that.
“I ended up with about 2 full months of just printing solidly. We got a nice little network of people together to organise drop offs and pick-ups on a weekly basis. Packs were being made up with in Peterhead and that was being sent out to anyone who needed them – dentists, vets, shop workers. I also had requests from a few people around the College.”
Errol was nominated for his creativity and community-spirit building in the form of the Sticky Trifle podcast. The podcast saw Errol interviewing local faces from around the Fraserburgh area, including councilors, business owners, singers and more, highlighting community initiatives and local businesses. He not only helped to raise awareness of things happening in the area, but brought smiles to the faces of his viewers in the process.
Errol said: “I didn’t expect this – I didn’t even know I was nominated until I was told I had won on Friday!
“I wanted to start doing podcasts as it was, but lockdown pushed everything forward. My son and I did the first one, and I said I was going to get guests on, not knowing what was going to happen. 30 podcasts later here we are.
“It’s been a really good learning experience. Not only that – for me, my mental health, it’s really kept my sanity going throughout lockdown. I was meeting and interviewing somebody different every week and getting to put interviews out on a Sunday night – it really saved me during lockdown.”
Kenneth received two nominations for his commitment to producing PPE during the initial stages of the pandemic. Working throughout the Easter holidays and occasionally in the middle of the night, he produced more than 1000 units of PPE using 3D printers, which were distributed to carers and other frontline workers in the local area. Not only did he print the equipment – he also helped to redesign the visors so that more could be printed at once.
Kenneth said: “We had heard there were problems with getting equipment and I heard little whispers that people had started making them so I thought well, we’ll have a go at making them ourselves. The printer was running constantly for pretty much 5 weeks.
“I’m fair delighted. I don’t often win anything! It’s great to be recognised doing something, but it’s what we are in the job for – to try to make a positive impact in the community. That’s what you do as a lecturer anyway – every lecturer does.”