Respect Elaine

Our Respect campaign encourages everyone to ‘Respect Yourself’, ‘Respect the Community’, ‘Respect the Environment’ and ‘Respect People’.

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.

We recently heard from members of our Estates team, who spoke candidly about the importance of feeling respected at work.

Now we catch up with members of our Front of House team, the first point of contact at the College, to get their perspective on the subject.

Following Respect Carol, we spoke to Elaine McVey at the Kilmarnock Campus to get her thoughts.


dsc_0134

Yesterday we heard from Elaine’s colleague Carol, who has provided Ayrshire College with 25 years of service.

Today we change gears a little and speak to Elaine McVey who has only been in the job for six months.

Elaine has moved around the campuses during this time as she gets to know her working environment.

She said “I’ve settled in quite well. It’s interesting to meet new people and learn how each campus works. I was actually a student here for two years at the Kilwinning Campus, studying HNC and HND Administration and IT.

“As a student I didn’t actually appreciate how much work the staff do here. It’s only when I started that I realised ‘wow, they do loads for us’. They seemed like a good company to work for, which is why I went for the job.”

Having recently been on both sides of the reception desk, Elaine is in a great position to speak about the relationship between students and the Front of House team.

She said “We provide them with the information that they need, whether it’s finding out which room they’ve to go to or putting them in contact with their lecturers.

“In my six months here I’ve never experienced anyone – students or staff – disrespecting me. The only thing I would say is that you do get a lot of students who are quite noisy. I think they tend to forget that we are a working area. However, if you ask them to be quiet, they’re usually alright about it.”

A point that Carol raised previously was how necessary it is for the Front of House team to be made aware of visitors.

It’s something that Elaine is also keen to stress to staff.

“Sometimes we get a visitor come in and we’ve no idea who they’re here to see. It would be good if staff could keep us more informed.

“My advice would be to give reception as much information as possible. It’s good to respect people and keep them informed.”

Respect Carol

Our Respect campaign encourages everyone to ‘Respect Yourself’, ‘Respect the Community’, ‘Respect the Environment’ and ‘Respect People’.

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.

We recently heard from members of our Estates team, who spoke candidly about the importance of feeling respected at work.

Now we catch up with members of our Front of House team – as the first point of contact at the College – to get their perspective on the subject.

Starting the series is Carol Devine, who is a Front of House Assistant at Ayr.


Respect Carol.JPG

To begin with, Carol explained what duties a Front of House Assistant performs at the College.

Carol said “It’s a varied role. Here at Ayr there are two reception desks that we can be working at, and we also have the mail room and print room.

“You never know what your day is going to be like at reception. It can be varied every day.

“We interact with students, staff and visitors on a daily basis, and we can be approached in different ways. A student could come to us looking for information or they could be upset and needing guidance. It’s our job to remain as professional as possible and support everyone who comes to us.”

Carol has been at Ayrshire College for 25 years, working in a part-time marketing role for two years before joining the Front of House team.

In that time she has seen major changes to the College.

“The expansion of the Ayr Campus to include the Riverside Building and the Aeronautical Engineering Training Centre was the first major development.

“Then there was the merger in 2013 of Ayr College, Kilmarnock College and the Kilwinning Campus of James Watt College.

“The organisation is much bigger now. In my role it is important that I know who everybody is. This can be difficult at times due to the size and location of the organisation and its location (East, North and South Ayrshire).

“I am continually learning every day which makes my role very interesting and different every day.”

Moving onto the subject of respect, Carol thinks for a moment before saying “I do feel respected.

“I think you have to give respect to gain respect back. I’m nice to the students and the staff, so they’re nice back to me.

“Of course there are issues. For example, staff need to let us know what time their visitors are due in, what room they’ve to go to, how many people are coming in, etc.

“If we don’t know about a visitor or event then we feel like we’re not doing our job to the best of our ability. If we can’t find the person they’re in to see, it reflects badly on us.

“As the first point of contact either by phone or face-to-face we have to be aware of the correct person or department to pass the enquiry on to and sometimes they can be quite frustrated but I feel it’s our role to try and elevate this by good communication and respect.

“I don’t think people should be taking out their frustrations on us. Although we do understand that they are not necessarily meaning to get at us.”

All in all though, Carol surmises that “everyone at the College is really nice.”

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.


IMG_9442.JPG

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.

plasma18

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.


img_1286

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.

plasma17

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.


billy-gemmell

“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.

plasma18

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-blog-2

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.

#ourayrshire