Challenging prejudice, rejecting hate

This year, Ayrshire College is publishing a series of blog posts to mark the ’16 Days of Action’ – an international call of action to end violence against women and girls.

Guest blog from Rebecca Jones of Glasgow Women’s Library for #16daysAyrshire.

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Hi! My name is Rebecca and I work for Glasgow Women’s Library, a vibrant information hub, lending library, archive and museum dedicated to recording and celebrating the lives, hidden histories and achievements of girls and women.

From 25th November – 10th December every year, we mark the 16 Days of Action Against Domestic Violence campaign. This year, I want to tell you a little bit about the work I do, and how you can get involved with Glasgow Women’s Library.

Since March this year, I have been supporting the ‘In Her Shoes’ project, which is giving girls and women from a diverse range of backgrounds spaces and opportunities to talk about their experiences of crime and hostility targeted at their gender identity, sexuality, race, ethnicity, religion and/or disability.

We have hosted a programme of workshops with girls and women experiencing hate crime and prejudice, to help them to begin a journey. This journey starts with sharing and discussing experiences, empowering ourselves and each other, and talking about how we can all challenge prejudice together in a positive and safe way.

We have discussed what can prevent girls and women from reporting hate speech and hate crime to the authorities, and why it is important that we do report it when we witness it or experience it for ourselves. Participants have told us that targeted hostility and hate speech can happen in private, on public transport, in public buildings and on college and university campuses, and they have been sharing their thoughts on how to be effective allies by intervening safely, and not being content to be bystanders when we witness prejudice targeted at others.

We have used methods which have a long history in feminist group-work and consciousness-raising. By speaking about prejudice, discrimination and inequality, girls and women can construct a view of themselves that is true, and not a view that is determined by others in society and simply applied to them.

We have explored some theories from the violence against women movement that reject the term ‘victim’ as devaluing a woman’s ability to survive prejudice, discrimination and abuse, defining her (regardless of her own self-image) as passive and helpless. Many of the women we have worked with choose to use the word ‘survivor’, because it recognises their strength and their agency.

The GWL archive and lending library has a unique collection of books and materials about the 16 Days campaign, campaigns to end violence against women and feminist activism and consciousness raising. We are located in Bridgeton in the east end of Glasgow, so pop by and see us to find out more!

If you would like to know more about the work that we do around challenging targeted prejudice, send me an email at or visit

16 Days of Action / 25 November to 10 December

This year, Ayrshire College is publishing a series of blog posts to mark the ’16 Days of Action’ – an international call of action to end violence against women and girls.

Today, Lainey McKinley, Student Vice-President, tells her own personal story.

Lainey was instrumental in organising the Reclaim the Night walk this year which saw students, staff and others come together to walk for the safety of women and girls.

You can contact our Student Services teams or organisations like Women’s Aid if you or someone you know requires support.


People can be abusive towards ones they love, to people they care about and are meant to protect.

This is a concept I couldn’t grasp, but one I know all too well to be true.

When we talk about violence against women, we may think of the statistic that 1 in 3 women will suffer abuse at some time in their life. We may even know that 1 in 7 students will experience abuse during their time in education. But how often do we hear from the children who are also very real victims of this abuse?

“Stop, you’re hurting me”, “you’re useless” and “not in front of the kids!” are phrases that were said, or rather shouted or cried, all too often as I was growing up.

Doing midnight flits to somewhere ‘safe’ and being promised that we would never return, then only two days later going back as if it never happened.

Was this love, was this a healthy relationship, was this how men were supposed to treat women? Surely it had to be – why else would you put up with it? I remember thinking ‘I never want to grow up’, the thought was too scary.

As I got older, I realised that actually this was not right, this was not what a relationship was meant to be like. A healthy relationship was about both parties being equal and honouring and respecting each other.

I couldn’t understand why she stayed, why she put herself and us through this torment.

For a long time I blamed her. I blamed her for us not being as free as we should have been as kids, for not giving us the love and attention we needed and deserved.

It wasn’t until I got into a relationship myself that my eyes began to open. I began to hang on every word my partner said and found myself starting to believe everything he said regardless of what it was.

I didn’t like the way this was going and I ended the relationship, but it helped me understand why she stayed and kept going back.

She really believed the lies he was telling her! She believed she was worthless, no good to anyone and needed him to survive. She had been so brainwashed and stripped of self-worth that she didn’t know any different. This truth broke my heart and I knew then that I wanted my voice used to make a difference.

I knew from this time I wanted to help raise awareness around violence against women, I wanted women to really hear and believe ‘you are strong’, ‘you are worthy’ and ‘you are beautiful’ in a time when 1 in 3 women will face abuse of some description. We cannot be silenced, we must unite, create a safe place and platform for our voices to be heard.

So to all the women reading this: you are beautiful and worthy, believe and accept nothing less from anyone.

To the men reading this, build the women in your life up, fill their heads and hearts with truths; truths that they are amazing, beautiful, worthy, intelligent, and strong.

The 16 days of action is a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness and for us to stand up and have a voice about a subject that in this day and age is still too silent.

Meet the Ayr graduation prizewinners

Today is a big day for so many students of Ayrshire College: it’s the Ayr graduation!

In the lead-up to this event we have been unveiling one graduation prizewinner per day on our website.

There are 13 recipients in total – 10 ‘Student of the Year’ winners, and one winner each of the ‘Institute of Hospitality’, ‘Making a Difference in the Community’ and ‘Outstanding Achievement’ awards.

And here they are!

Read what these 13 students think about receiving these awards.

Student of the Year for Aeronautical – sponsored by The Royal Aeronautical Society


I feel very proud winning this award. It has been a tough time specifically over the last 6 months of the course. The pressure of having a full-time job working shifts and completing the HND got a bit much at times and I felt like giving it up. However I managed to complete it and do well. Receiving this award makes it seem worthwhile.

It will hopefully benefit me should I go for a job in the future. It will show my employer I am a hard worker which has obviously been recognised.

Student of the Year for Arts and Fashion – sponsored by Visualize This


I am delighted to have won this award, especially at this stage in my life. I did work really hard on the course, mainly because I was enjoying myself so much. It is lovely to have my hard work recognised, but some of the credit should go to the excellent lecturers. Without their support and encouragement I could not have achieved so much.

The course was really life changing for me and has given me the skills and the opportunity of starting out in another direction, doing something that I really enjoy. It has given me confidence and a belief in myself and my abilities. If this continues to lead to financial gain, that would be amazing, but equally I shall enjoy practising and experimenting and exploring the many techniques that I have learned.

Student of the Year for Business, Administration and Accounts – sponsored by The McKissock Family


The Student of the Year Award was unexpected however without the coaching of my lecturers, and the support and commitment of all my classmates this would have been more difficult to achieve. Therefore, my thanks has to go out to each and every one of them.

There are many skills I have gained from the course. At the age of almost 50, it just goes to show that you can teach an “Old Dog New Tricks”!

Student of the Year for Care – sponsored by SWAPWest



I feel really grateful and appreciative of this award. When I was told by my lecturer at college that I had been put forward for it, I felt overwhelmed for the recognition of all my hard work and dedication to the course.

I will continue to work hard and produce high standards of work. This award has shown me that with determination and hard work and also self-belief, it will be recognised. I feel that being put forward for the award alone is an achievement in itself.

Student of the Year for Construction, Technology and Trades – sponsored by Ashleigh


I feel honoured to have won this award  as there is a lot of good students to choose from but I always give 100% to my work and indeed anything I do or take part in because at the end of the day what is the point in doing something, if you don’t love doing it!

This award could open more doors in the future for me, to have this on my CV is brilliant.

Student of the Year for Early Years – sponsored by Ede and Ravenscroft


To have won this award is overwhelming. It is such an honour to have been chosen and I am very proud that my work and college experience has been recognised. I would say that I have my fellow students and lecturers to thank as I could not have done it without them.

This award has shown me that I am capable of achieving my dream of becoming a primary school teacher. Acknowledging my hard work and dedication has inspired me and given me the confidence I will need to get through university. In the future I would like to be a Primary School Teacher and aspire to work with children with support needs.

Student of the Year for Engineering and Science – sponsored by BAE Systems Regional Aircraft


It feels awesome to have won this award because I honestly never knew it existed. At HNC/HND level there is nothing to differentiate the grades of students.  An A grade is an A grade, you can’t achieve merit or distinction. It is nice to see that all the hard work and effort does not go unnoticed.

The aerospace industry is extremely competitive and difficult to break into. This award will undoubtedly look good on my CV and hopefully make me look more enticing to a potential employer.

Student of the Year for Hospitality and Tourism – sponsored by Glasgow Prestwick Airport


It’s a huge honour to receive this award – not only do I feel it’s recognition for the hard work I put in throughout the year, but it’s also made my family very proud too.

Already this has given me a great boost in confidence going into the HND level of Travel and Tourism.

Student of the Year for Music and Performance – sponsored by Developing the Young Workforce


I’m really thrilled to win this award. I’ve worked very hard over the last year and it feels great to know that all that effort has paid off.

This award has given me the confidence to continue with my studies knowing that, with a bit of hard work, I can achieve my goals.

Student of the Year for Science – sponsored by Wai Beyond


I am overjoyed as I would have never in a million years thought I would have been able to achieve this award. After a very hard year of studying and working to achieve an ‘A’ in the Graded Unit, this just tops it off!

I think it’ll be a very good award to have on my CV, as it shows the dedication and effort that I put in.

The Institute of Hospitality Award – sponsored by The Institute of Hospitality


I always wanted to get this award – I believe it will give me an extra boost when applying for jobs, as well as giving me more self-confidence. I have really achieved the best that I can be within my course.

This award should benefit me greatly as it shows that alongside working hard in class, I also manage well and am organised enough to go that extra mile in the work that I do.

Making a Difference in the Community – sponsored by The Rotary Club of Alloway


I’m at Ayrshire College for my second year, completing my HND Aircraft Engineering, and then I’ll be full-time on the shop floor. I’ll continue learning there and try to get them to send me on new courses!

I’d love to travel. We do secondments at Spirit Aerosystems, and I’d love to go on a couple of them. I know a few people who work here doing composite repair training, and I’d love to do that and travel everywhere.

Outstanding Achievement – sponsored by SQA


It feels great to have won this award.  It’s given me the confidence to keep on going with what I want to do in the future.  At the moment I’m working towards my own fashion label with the help from a company in Glasgow.  My future plans are to have a successful fashion brand.

The College staff are all great, they want to help and to see you go far in your dreams, so I would definitely recommend going to Ayrshire College!

Respect Roy

You may have noticed we launched our Respect Campaign this week across all campuses.

Respect, in all its forms, may be something that you don’t often think about. Yet it is a crucial quality to develop in order to have effective relationships at college.

Our Respect Campaign highlights the need to ‘Respect Yourself’, ‘Respect the Community’, ‘Respect the Environment’ and ‘Respect People’.

Each strand is vital to understand for their own unique reasons.

This three-part blog will hopefully allow you to reflect on why it’s important to ‘Respect People’, as members of our Estates Team walk you through their daily lives working at our Ayr, Irvine and Kilmarnock campuses.

For the final part of this week’s blog series, we have Roy Bell, a Centre Support Assistant at Irvine, telling his story.


Our Skills Centre of Excellence Campus in Irvine opened its doors to students in October 2014. It’s a different type of campus to our main three in Ayr, Kilmarnock and Kilwinning.

For one, it’s adjoined to Irvine Royal Academy.

One man who knows all about the differences that come with a campus like this – which caters to Construction, Health and Social Care, Hospitality, and Sport and Fitness students – is Roy Bell.

Roy has worked as a Centre Support Assistant at Irvine since June 2015 and knows every staff member and student that walks through the door.

Roy said “You get to know the students after the first few weeks of term. We do have quite a lot of students here, but I know all of their faces. Most of them say hello to you. You could actually say hello to someone for two or three years every morning without ever knowing their name!

“We’re a smaller campus. There are probably things that I do that other estates staff don’t, purely down to the fact that we don’t have a college cleaner here at all times like they do at the three main campuses.

“We also have an agreement with Irvine Royal Academy where our students are allowed to use the school canteen. So at lunch time I assist in making sure they generally behave themselves. There are rules that the school has for when the students come into the school, so I make sure they are adhered to.”

For two mornings every week, Roy also assists with some duties at the Kilwinning Campus.

“I go there to mainly brush up the cigarette ends outside the smoking areas, and generally keep the place looking clean and tidy. I also have to sticker cars that are parked outwith the designated areas – so if you get a sticker I’ve probably gave it to you!

“In the summer, when our Irvine campus is closed, I assist across the other main campuses. So I get to meet other staff and students.”

So, having experienced the atmosphere at three different campuses – one very different – how does Roy rate the level of respect he receives?

“It’s not bad; the respect I get. The biggest thing that has come up would be the issue of smoking. I’d say we’re quite good here at Irvine purely because of our smaller numbers. You never see anyone smoking on campus, they always go outside the gates. However, we also work in partnership with Irvine Royal Academy on the level of smoking and address any issues as and when they arise.

“A couple of times I’ve had to go out and politely ask students to move away from the entrance areas, and they’ve been fine.

“I would just say to anyone we need to speak to: anything that you’re being told or asked to do, is for your benefit as well as the College’s. We’re not moaning at you, there’s a reason for it. We’re trying to make the place as pleasant as possible for any student or visitor that comes in.”

Please choose to Respect Roy and others like him by disposing of your rubbish and cigarettes appropriately.


Respect Mary

RESPECT Week 2016 has been launched this week with information stands at Kilmarnock on Monday, Ayr on Tuesday and at the Kilwinning Campus today.

Respect, in all its forms, may be something that you don’t often think about. Yet it is a crucial quality to develop in order to have effective relationships at college.

Our Respect campaign highlights the need to ‘Respect Yourself’, ‘Respect the Community’, ‘Respect the Environment’ and ‘Respect People’.

Each strand is vital to understand for their own unique reasons.

This second post of a three-part blog series will hopefully allow you to reflect on why its important to ‘Respect People’, as members of our Estates team walk you through their daily lives working at our Ayr, Irvine and Kilmarnock Campuses.

Following on from our ‘Respect Billy’ message, we have Mary McAllister, a Cleaning Supervisor at Kilmarnock.


Mary is approaching the 20 year milestone of her Ayrshire College career. A career which started with a part-time cleaning job at the previous Kilmarnock Campus.

However, if 62 year old Mary thought she had seen it all in her time at the College, then the move to the new Kilmarnock Campus on Hill Street this October has quickly dispelled that notion.

Mary said “We’re still finding our feet in this new building. It’s so big, we’re still getting used to it. I felt the Holehouse Campus was big, but this is massive. It’s a lot more walking so it can be exhausting. I feel like when I arrive in the morning, by the time I’ve cleaned the whole building it’s a bit of a mess again! But we’re getting there – it’ll get easier as time goes on.

“We’ve got a new cleaning system which involves a lot of new machinery. We’re trying to move away from mops – but I think the old fashioned way is the best!”

There are 20 cleaners in total at the Kilmarnock Campus, working a number of different shift patterns. Mary’s always on the 8am-4pm shift, and so spends a lot of her time working around students.

“One of the cleaners will have been here for 30 years come March. Another’s at 26. I’m at 20 now, and then there’s newer ones at the five year mark. It goes to show you that it’s a good place to work. When the College merged there were a lot of new faces to get used to.

“I like them all, I don’t know what they’ll say about me mind you!

“I love my job. People say to me – “you love cleaning?”, and I really do. It’s been 20 years and I still like to walk out at night thinking ‘that building’s nice and clean’. I do take pride in that.

“I love all the different people you meet. The majority of students here are very nice to us. Some can be a little disrespectful in terms of littering and making a mess of the toilets. And where they sit to eat, they don’t always clean up after themselves. It would be great if they could use the bins provided.

“One of the cleaners the other night went to the showers at the gym and there was juice all up the walls. This is a new building, why would you disrespect it like this? It’s a lovely college but it’s got to be looked after.

“Again, most of the College staff are very good. However I do think some staff could maybe do a wee bit more to tell their students to clean up after themselves. Staff also have responsibilities to keep their kitchens tidy, so if they could clean up that would be great.”

By and large though, Mary feels the respect of others.

“I feel I’m respected here. The management are fair and listen to us, Donna Vallance (Vice President – College Estate and New Campus Development) got more cleaners in for us as we were preparing to move to the bigger campus. This level of support has been brilliant – it makes you feel valued and appreciated.”

Please choose to Respect Mary and others like her by disposing of your rubbish and cigarettes appropriately.


Respect Billy

RESPECT Week 2016 has been launched today at our Kilmarnock Campus, and will continue with information stands at the Ayr campus on Tuesday 22 November and at Kilwinning campus on Wednesday 23rd November from 10am to 2pm.

Respect, in all its forms, may be something that you don’t often think about. Yet it is a crucial quality to develop in order to have effective relationships at college.

Our Respect campaign highlights the need to ‘Respect Yourself’, ‘Respect the Community’, ‘Respect the Environment’ and ‘Respect People’.

Each strand is vital to understand for their own unique reasons.

This first post of a three-part blog series will hopefully allow you to reflect on why its important to ‘Respect People’, as members of our Estates team walk you through their daily lives working at our Ayr, Irvine and Kilmarnock Campuses.

First up we have Billy Gemmell, a Campus Assistant at Ayr.


“My general duties involve making sure everything’s perfect at this campus. That means opening up the College on time, setting the alarms and maintaining the security of the buildings.” Billy begins.

“We need to make sure the College is warm, clean and comfortable for everyone each day.”

A campus cannot remain perfect at all times, however, without the support from all those who use it.

On a topic that takes up more of Billy’s time than it should – litter – he said “I suppose you’ll always get a bit of litter anywhere but there are things you can do to improve it. Hopefully this ‘Respect’ campaign will do that.

“We have a lot of bins out but it’s not necessarily about the number of bins you put out – you could put 10 bins out or 1,000, but you’ll still find litter lying on the grounds if people choose not to use them.

“Moving to a no smoking campus has also been a big challenge,” Billy states.

“Cigarettes have been a major problem. Some people don’t discard their cigarettes in bins, they just throw them on the ground. There’s a lot of brushing up to be done. It has a big impact on our jobs as it takes us away from other things we could be doing.

“I would say to students and staff here: if you’re smoking or eating, then please put your things in the designated bins when you’re finished. That’s all I could ask them. There’s plenty of bins there.

“The more rubbish around the campus, the more time we spend dealing with it. People might not think too much about that but I would ask them to and dispose of their rubbish in the appropriate bins.”

Billy was at pains to point out that the majority of the people he has encountered each and every day over his past nine years in the role do treat him, and the College building, with respect.

He said “My role sees me interact with students and staff. For example, let’s say students are doing something for charity, I’ll help set stalls up for them. If lecturers need movements in their classrooms, they’ll come to us.

“On the whole, I’ll be honest, most of the students are brilliant. If you ask them to move or do something, they’ll do it.

“Everybody I’ve been involved with at the College over my time here has been first class.

“I would hope they would respect me, because I respect them. I respect the lecturers and the job they do, and I respect the students because that’s the whole reason we’re here. I’d hope I’d get respect from my fellow workers and students would respect facilities and everyone else at the College.

“I take pride in my work. I want to make sure the College is presentable because first impressions count. I want the College to look good, for students, lecturers and visitors to come in.”

Please choose to Respect Billy and others like him by disposing of your rubbish and cigarettes appropriately.


RESPECT #ourayrshire

At Ayrshire College, we are proud to have a campus community that is respectful, welcoming and inclusive to all.  We want students and staff to be proud of where they study and work, and to create a sense of belonging within the College community.


Respect involves everyone at the College and Ayrshire College Respect Week 2016 is all about building a respectful environment for both students and staff.

Ayrshire College is proud of its high standards on each campus, offering the latest equipment and technology and its involvement with the local community. This is our local College – it’s where we work and study and we are proud of it and want to look after it and each other.

Our RESPECT campaign 2016 focuses on four main themes, asking students and staff to:

Respect People – Let’s celebrate equality and diversity, and ensure everyone is treated equally, and with mutual trust and respect.

Respect the Environment – encourage all to look after the College environment and enjoy the learning space, by contributing to recycling, using the litter bins provided and to consider greener travel.

Respect the Community – consider the neighbours of the College, by not dropping litter, respecting smoke-free campuses and parking considerately in and around the campuses.

Respect Myself – we believe that good health and wellbeing is essential for our students and staff to achieve their goals.  Respect starts with yourself.

RESPECT Week highlights the importance of working alongside the Student Association, Estates team, Equalities, Health & Safety and Student Services teams and Police Scotland/NHS partners and supporting the work they do on a daily basis to promote respect.

Ayrshire College launches RESPECT Week on Monday 21st November at the Kilmarnock Campus.  Look out for information stands across campus between 10am and 2pm from Monday 21st November.  We’ll be at the Ayr campus on Tuesday 22 November and at Kilwinning campus on Wednesday 23rd November from 10am to 2pm.


Students bring their creativity to TamFest

TamFest 2016 was once again a great success.

If you went along to celebrate Robert Burns, you may have noticed some special artwork that was there.

We can exclusively reveal the backstory behind these pieces.

Ayrshire College students were tasked with creating a piece of artwork that depicted a scene from Tam o’ Shanter.

Here’s how they did it!


Steven Anderson, 41, Ayr


The design was all hand-drawn and scanned into the computer. It’s the scene where he’s imagining he’s away from everything. I made the poppy stand out so that there was something different to focus on. I enjoyed doing the freehand drawing. I know the bridge plays a big part of the poem so I wanted to incorporate that into the image. I’m excited to see it.

Corrie Burley, 19, Irvine

My idea was to use the Brig o’ Doon Bridge. When we went there I took a photograph of it and I’ve Photoshopped that. I’ve drawn a sketch of a horse, then you have the witches following Tam o’ Shanter.

I’m quite new to Photoshop so that was a bit of a struggle, but I’ve been using Illustrator for a while.

This is the first live brief I’ve ever had. I enjoyed it a lot. Often I struggle with deadlines but I managed this one!

Michelle Caddy, 35, Irvine

I used the devil to represent certain elements of the poem. I used different textures and layers to represent the darkness and gloominess. The witches add the eerie factor. The devil’s digitally painted. I’m happy with the finished piece. This is the second live brief I’ve had and it’s went very well.

Ewan Gilmour, 21, Kilwinning

We went to the Brig o’ Doon, then the Auld Kirk, to take photographs. Initially my idea was to use the scene of the bar. But when looking through the photos, I found one of the Auld Kirk which had a hand at the bottom, so I thought I could do the witches dancing, and I could use the hand as Tam o’ Shanter’s hand. I drew up the witches dancing, turned the photo green to blend it in, and then just duplicated the layer of the witches to make it look like there’s more of them.

We were asked to incorporate typography into it – the problem was trying to find somewhere to put the text. When you look at the witches, it’s quite scratchy looking, which is what I wanted.

Rachel Grainger, 20, Barassie


I got this photo of the bridge and loved the look of it. I manipulated it on Photoshop, darkened it up and put these clouds in the background to make it look like a stormy night. I drew Tam on his horse coming down the bridge towards the viewer. The witches’ hands are grabbing towards it. I drew these, scanned and coloured them digitally. I got horse hair for texture, leather for the jacket and tartan for the hat to add a bit more to it. The horse is running over the text to incorporate it into the piece.

Rebecca Kirkwood, 18, Maybole


We were to pick a part of the poem, so I picked Tam approaching the Auld Kirk. I thought it’d be good to portray the stormy night, I used different layers for the background. When we went to take photographs of the Brig o’ Doon, I took a photo of the texture of the wall. There’s a texture behind the trees portraying a stormy night.

Lori Limond, 21, Tarbolton

I drew a landscape sketch of the bridge and the water. I had Tam o’ Shanter go over on his horse with the ghouls and trees in the background. I added in different textures. I brought in photographs of cobbles for over the bridge, and water texture for the water. I’ve used the text over the water.

It was good. I quite enjoyed it.

Samantha Logan, 21, Girvan


I went with a cartoon style because I wanted it to stand out. I think it’s the best way to convey the emotion of the scene. Everything was freehand drawing on a digital paint programme apart from the background which was a photograph manipulated to look like the scene. I felt this scene was the most recognisable and the most impactful. I thought it came out quite well.

Kyle Lotter, 20, Galston


I wanted to incorporate the text fully, so I laid it into the bridge in my design. I wanted a silhouette effect with a limited palette. I drew these on Illustrator to give me nice flat sharp lines. I used the tree which I scanned and flattened on Illustrator to fit the style. I put a grungy texture on there. I loved this live brief, it wasn’t restrictive. I used a panoramic style which I think is the only one like this.

Thomas McKay, 19, Ayr

I chose to focus on the scene where the witches snatch the tail over the bridge. I did it from an aerial view to give a different perspective of it. I made it really detailed and expressive. I chose this scene because when I was reading through the poem, that scene seemed like the most dramatic and would be the best to portray. I’m happy with the finished piece.

Daniel McKenna, 21, Ayr


I spent a bit of time drawing hands and using different text. If you look closely, I’ve added a texture on the hands which is what I like most about it. Some words you can read a lot better than others but I wanted to make it look chaotic, like the scene I was doing. It was a fun experience. I’ve done graphic design things like this before but nothing as big as this.

Anna McNamee, 20, Kilwinning


We went to the Brig o’ Doon for primary research taking photographs. I liked this one, the distance shot. I thought what could I make this look like Tam o’ Shanter? When looking through the poem, this was the paragraph I liked the most. When it mentions ‘the devil had business in his hands’, I wanted to use the devil’s hand. I illustrated that and it looked as if something could be in that hand. So I put the horse’s tail there. On the bridge I did a silhouette of Tam o’ Shanter on the horse and reflected it with the moonlight. I hope other people like it.

Lauren Provan, 20, Prestwick

I went for a dark look to make known that it’s the evening and it’s spooky. I have hands coming out of the church to make it even darker. It was difficult to incorporate the text because there’s not a great amount of space, but I’m happy with where I’ve put it. It stands out. I liked the photograph I took of the church so I knew that was the idea I wanted to use.

Mhairi Steele, 18, Stewarton

We were given this brief and the lecturer told us to pick one scene from the poem. I liked when the witches were chasing Tam over the bridge. It needed to include lots of layers, text, textures, and images. I wanted to go for something quite different. I drew Tam, the cobbled bridge, witches hands, scanned it into Photoshop and added some text.

We had a month to produce this. I love working from live briefs, it’s good to do something different. The fact that it’s being shown close to home is really cool, it’s been a great opportunity for us to take part in.

Kelsey Stewart, 19, Irvine


I just thought that Tam o’ Shanter was meant to be scary, not cartoony. So I went for a personalised piece. One of my lecturers was used in a photoshoot, I got him to make scary faces. I came up with the idea of him shouting the part of the poem instead of it being in the background. Then of course you’ve got the witches and the castle.

I like live briefs. They’re more entertaining. They bring you into it more. They’re good things to do.


Meet the Kilmarnock graduation prizewinners

Tomorrow is a big day for so many students of Ayrshire College: it’s the Kilmarnock graduation!

In the lead-up to this event we have been unveiling graduation prize winners on our website.

There are 10 recipients in total – seven ‘Student of the Year’ winners, one winner of the ‘Making a Difference in the Community’ award and two ‘Outstanding Achievement’ awards.

And here they are!

Read why these 10 students deserve special recognition, in the words of their lecturers.

Student of the Year for Early Years – sponsored by Ede and Ravenscroft


Hayley has had a determination to succeed throughout HND Childhood Practice, putting in so much hard work and always showing commitment to her studies.

Hayley takes full responsibility for her learning and at the same time demonstrates a genuine passion to “make Scotland the best place to grow up”.

Hayley has consistently developed her academic abilities at HND level and has produced work of a high standard, an opinion shared by all of her lecturers.

Student of the Year for Engineering and Science – sponsored by Ede and Ravenscroft


Steven is an extremely diligent student who has worked consistently hard all year. He always submits coursework ahead of deadlines whilst maintaining a very high standard.

He is an all-round pleasure to teach. Steven achieved an ‘A’ in his Graded Unit and scored the top mark in his class. As well as all of this, he has always found time to help his classmates.

Steven will be a high achiever in whatever he decides to do in the future.

Student of the Year for Social Science – sponsored by Wai Beyond


Kyla has been an exemplary student on the HND Social Science course.

She has the ability to interpret information and relate it to wider issues.  Her written work has been consistently excellent in all subject areas and her enthusiasm for social sciences was evident in everything she did.

She was hugely supportive to the others in the class and she was a willing participant in group tasks.  Overall, Kyla was a model student and a pleasure to have in the class.

Student of the Year for Sport and Fitness – sponsored by Ayrshire Sportsability


Over the past four years Natasha has shown exceptional progression and is an outstanding student and role model to others.

The amount of voluntary work that she has carried out, along with 100% college attendance, is indicative of her dedication and commitment.

Through hard work and sheer determination, Natasha has far exceeded expectations, and has gone above and beyond in her volunteering efforts.

We are very proud of her for being able to make a huge difference to so many people.

Natasha has gained a reputation across Ayrshire as a committed and passionate coach as she continues to build an impressive CV, as well as being nominated and winning several awards.

She is a great ambassador not only for Ayrshire College and the wider community, but is a prime example of young people in society who make such a difference to so many.

Student of the Year for Business, Administration and Accounts – sponsored by Brown Brothers


Extremely popular with her classmates, Shannon consistently produced work to a very high standard which was reflected in the results she achieved.

Shannon has now progressed to HND and plans to complete a degree programme to enable her to fulfil her ambition of becoming a fully qualified accountant.

She stands out this year as a very hard-working student and it was a unanimous decision by the Business, Administration and Accounts staff, which clearly shows how highly regarded Shannon is.

Student of the Year for Care – sponsored by A1 Glass Ltd


Elaine has consistently demonstrated an exceptionally high level of personal and academic achievement throughout her time at Ayrshire College.

She has also been a very pro-active and positive influence in the wider college community through her peer mentoring involvement and fundraising activity, which she received an award for.

Added to all this she has been an active member of the student union and has recently been voted vice president for the year ahead.

Despite juggling a hectic personal life, succeeding through challenging times has been the hallmark of Elaine’s journey and she has shown great determination to achieve and progress against all odds.

Elaine has gained year 2 entry to study at university which, due to the vice president role, she has deferred until 2017. Elaine’s story is certain to inspire others.  Her achievements are outstanding and she wholly deserves student of the year.

Student of the Year for Hair and Beauty – sponsored by Salon Services


Anneliese has worked so hard and shown commitment, dedication and resilience, overcoming many personal challenges to achieve an extremely high standard of work.

She has been committed to her learning and never lost sight of her goals, always with such a happy, positive attitude, inspiring others with her ambition and vision for her future.

She is an excellent ambassador to others at Ayrshire College. It has been a pleasure to have been part of her learning journey at Ayrshire College.

Making a Difference in the Community – sponsored by Developing the Young Workforce


Sharon has achieved the HNC Social Care after devoting her life to caring for others. Sharon began fostering in 1994 and over the past 22 years has fostered 10 children long-term and provided respite for 25 children.

The difference Sharon and her husband have made to these children’s lives is immeasurable. By fostering she helps young people make the transition to adulthood and supports them to develop skills to live independently.

Throughout the course, she submitted all assessments ahead of deadline and took part in classes with enthusiasm and integrity, being a true ambassador for the College.

For transforming the lives of children in Ayrshire and building bridges in the community, Sharon is thoroughly deserving of the award.

Outstanding Achievement – sponsored by SQA


Kelly has developed into a confident and successful learner due to her constant hard work throughout college.

Despite many personal challenges, her resilience and determination were always going to ensure that Kelly completed with great success. She has worked extremely hard this year.

Kelly continued to go that extra mile to help and support her fellow students and is always smiling, helpful and thoughtful.  She is a fantastic example of a student who never gives up and a well deserving winner of this award.

Outstanding Achievement – sponsored by SQA


Ashley consistently produced a high standard of work throughout the year whilst caring for her family.

Putting her own strategies in place to support her learning requirements, she has worked extremely hard to organise and complete her work.

She is an excellent ambassador for Ayrshire College and has received glowing reports from her college work placement.

Congratulations everyone: see you tomorrow!