For Mr Houchen it was the first time he had visited the college. He said: “It is a fantastic college and such an iconic building. Equally impressive are the dedicated teachers and staff who work tirelessly to make a difference to the lives of the students. The positive atmosphere that exists throughout the college reflects the hard graft and commitment of everyone here.”
Principal Kate Roe said: “We are delighted to welcome the mayor and hear about the plans for education and skills development in the Tees Valley which will support young people in the future.”
Other visitors included the NHS, NECA, the RFU, Durham Police, families’ charity DISC, healthy food specialists Fit Fresh and the Samaritans, while health and social care students also manned a display on CPR and the use of the defibrillator.
Trainee Guide Dog for the Blind Hadrian, who is sponsored by public services students, was joined by assistance and medical dog Mollie and her owner Aaron Jack, 23, who was diagnosed with MS two years ago.
Art and design students took their mental health messages into the community. The Level 2 students had a workshop on the Hindu spiritual symbol of mandala. They then created their own mandala designs which they took to the town’s Queen Street shopping centre for the public to colour in, which is said to be good at reducing stress.
Darlington College’s business development advisor Ross Lowcock said: “It is so important to get the work life balance right and to take steps to protect physical health and mental wellbeing. We have had a great week exploring all aspects of life and I think staff and students have all benefited from the experience.”