Month: October 2016

#IAmWhole – Rizzle Kicks campaign to end mental health stigma

MontageMental health. It’s a thing we don’t really talk about. But it’s time we did.

We went along to the Brighton i360 for the launch of the NHS #IAmWhole campaign to find out why.

What is the #IAmWhole campaign? Well, It’s people calling out the deep-rooted stigma surrounding mental health difficulties.

It’s people standing up together, to offer support to the hundreds of thousands of children and young people facing the challenges mental health difficulties bring.

As it turns out, lots of people feel pretty strongly about helping to create the changes our society needs to see to an end to mental health stigma…

People like Jordan Stephens, James Corden, Adele Roberts, Jamal Edwards, Ed Sheeran, Dermot O’Leary, Dom Jolly, Miquita Oliver and James Arthur!

Jordan Stephens, one half of Rizzle Kicks has released a single to promote the campaign, check out the video for his new track ‘Whole’ to see what everyone’s been talking about!

So what’s happened to get all these people on board? As we learnt at the #IAmWhole launch, it all started with a lot of research by the NHS and YMCA into mental health stigma and how it’s affecting young people aged 11-24.

The head of research at the YMCA presented their report at the launch, when I heard the statistics I was stunned and it genuinely made me sad.….

70% of people said that stigma made them less likely to talk to others about their mental health and a staggering 54% said that this stigma originates from friends and relatives…Cuue0JsWYAAGmtL

I thought about people I know who have had mental health difficulties, and have made it through with help and support.

Isn’t it scary that so many young people feel they can’t ask for the help they need? Don’t you think it’s heart-breaking that it’s often because of the unintentional, but damaging stigma they experience from the people close to them?

I do.

When I watched the campaign video for #IAmWhole at the launch, it sent shivers down my spine and made me want to shout from the rooftops I AM WHOLE… and so are you.

Mental health difficulties do not make someone broken, so let’s be whole together and support the people we care for by combatting mental health stigma:

Challenge harmful language – so young people can ask for help and advice without fear of negative labels.

Encourage young people ask for support – from friends, parents, teachers, youth workers, or GP’s

Support people to find and get help – visit an online mental health service directory designed by young people for young people

Empower young people to tackle stigma!

If you or someone you know suffers from mental health difficulties, please join us in supporting the #IAmWhole campaign.CviWg6UXEAEEnXr

And if there is someone you know that needs a little extra love, reach out and help them get the help they need. Here are some great resources they can access: – Mental health service directory designed by and for young people.

Sussex Mental Healthline – Call 0300 5000 101 for support and information if you’re worried about your mental health. Lines are open overnight from 5.00pm to 9.00am, Monday to Friday, and 24hrs a day during weekends and Bank Holidays.

Samaritans – If you need support and someone to turn to: Call 08457 90 90 90 – lines are open 24hrs a day, 7 days a week. Or, you can visit the Samaritans Walk-in Service, Dubarry House, Newtown Road, Hove, East Sussex, BN3 6AE – open from 10.00am to 10.00pm, 7 days a week.


Rheanna Davidge-Huxley

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Introducing South Lodge Hotel’s new Chef de Partie – City College alumnus, George Martin

Since 2014, 8 City College Catering students have been awarded coveted places in the Exclusive Chefs’ Academy, a two-year life-changing training programme from George Martin - Chefs AcademyExclusive Hotels and Venues. Each year, following a rigorous selection process, 12 places are awarded to the most impressive candidates from chef and catering colleges and universities across the UK. Designed to tackle the challenges of chef recruitment and retention head on, the Academy takes the chefs on an intensive two-year journey under the mentor and leadership of Exclusive’s award-winning chefs.

City College’s George Martin was part of the Academy’s first intake and started his South Lodgejourney as a Commis Chef based at the 5-star South Lodge Hotel. In the first year, the programme involved him working his way around all the kitchen sections and he began making his mark as a very talented chef. One of the Academy’s youngest recruits, George immediately made the most of the learning opportunities offered through chef masterclasses and by visiting the sources of the great British ingredient – the producers.

By the end of his first year, he’d easily made the grade to become a Demi Chef de Partie and was placed in the second year of the programme at the Michelin-starredManor House Hotel kitchen at The Manor House, Castle Combe. George thrived in his new environment and impressed the Head Chef and the team with his hard work and attention to detail. He sailed through his second year at the Academy and would proudly take every opportunity to show off his skills to his peers.

Nearing the end of the two-year programme, as a final test for all Academy chefs to prove their worth, they have to apply for a Chef de Partie position, either in the kitchen they work in or in another Exclusive hotel kitchen. George chose to apply for a position back in the kitchen at South Lodge, where it had all begun.

“A lot of Head Chefs think it’s unrealistic to expect a young chef just out of college to be transformed into a Chef de Partie in just two years but I’d seen enough talent and ability in George to believe he could prove the doubters wrong,” says Andy Mackenzie, Executive Chef of the Exclusive Chefs’ Academy. “After George’s working interview, I asked Johnny Spires, the Head Chef that took him through his interview, to give me a call to let me know how he’d got on. When I got the call, I was delighted to hear Johnny say that he would have no hesitation in employing George as a Chef De Partie in his kitchen. Not only that, he told me that George had come back to South Lodge twice the chef from when he left a year ago. All this was music to my ears…”

George is relishing his new role at South Lodge and looks set to progress further up George Martin - Chef de Partie - Sept 16the ranks and make his mark on Sussex’s culinary scene. “I’m genuinely delighted and proud to achieve a Chef de Partie role at such a prestigious hotel as South Lodge,” says George. “Personally, I think I’ve matured a lot since I left home to join the Academy and professionally, my skills and knowledge have come on in leaps and bounds. It was thanks to Allan Paul, who tutored me throughout my time at City College, that I became aware of the Chefs’ Academy so I’ll always be indebted to Allan and the College’s Catering team for helping to steer my career in such a positive way.”

If you are interested in learning more about the Chefs’ Academy programme please email or apply online at

For more information on catering courses at City College, call 01273 667759, email or see

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How Art Foundation alumnus Ben designed his future

When he came to City College to study Art Foundation in 2003, born and bred Brightonian Ben Parrish was already harbouring ambitions to work in Ben Parrisharchitectural/interior design, but the skills he learnt on the course helped steer him in the direction of his subsequent design career. ‘All of us completed modules in many different fields in art and design such as print making, textiles, 3D, ceramics and fine art,’ recalls Ben. ’These have all been useful skills that I took with me to University and beyond and also helped to confirm that I was on the right path. I also met some fantastically talented and creative people at the College and seeing where many of my peers have gone in life and their careers is amazing!’

After City College, and gaining his Interior Architecture BA at the University of Brighton, Ben worked briefly in residential luxury design to get a feel for that sector before a game-changing career break working as a Design Assistant for acclaimed eco designer and media personality Oliver Heath. ‘That was a really exciting time,’ says Ben. ‘I learnt so much about the effects of design on the built environment and how to put an eco ethos at the heart of design in a beautiful way.’ From there, Ben’s career took another big leap forward when his flair and talent secured him a Lead Interior/Shop Designer role in luxury fashion retail with the world-renowned UK fashion house, Paul Smith: ‘I worked on some fantastic projects internationally, spending lots of time in Japan which was a real highlight of my career. I was able to explore different cultures from many perspectives, not just as a tourist.’

Having achieved such an enviable role with considerable perks (‘Being able to stay Ben Parrish example (4)in beautiful hotels around the world was a nice touch!’, he says) it would have been understandable if Ben had become complacent, but that’s not in his nature: ‘I think its important to continually test your strengths and weaknesses with new challenges to keep the excitement of a career alive and to develop in any field. Being in an innovative environment is important to me because it keeps me constantly thinking, improving and learning. I particularly enjoy the delivery of projects and ensuring that clients get the ‘wow’ factor they expect.’

The latest addition to Ben’s CV is an exciting new role as Senior Project Manager for Ben Parrish example (3)leading visual communications agency Elemental Design (whose incredible client list includes Harrods, Maserati, Zegna, L’Oreal, Louis Vuitton and Veuve Clicquot), building on the project delivery expertise he’s gained throughout his working life. Of his latest career move, Ben says: ‘I’m looking forward to hopefully becoming a key player within the team and progressing the business and my own career within Elemental Design.’

Looking back, Ben takes pride in how he progressed from a junior position to a senior role within a short space of time and he’s relished the opportunity to interact Ben Parrish example (2)with so many different cultures in the course of his career but he still yearns to work in his home town. ‘I’m a proud Brightonian and have no desire to move away,’ he says. ‘Commuting for many years takes its toll after a while but it’s worth it to be able to spend weekends in such a fantastic city. Maybe a few years down the line, I’ll fulfil my dream of running a nice café/bistro or small hotel – all with design flair of course!’

Many of City College’s current Art Foundation students will no doubt look at Ben’s career in design and aspire to emulate it. So what’s his career advice for these budding designers? ‘Work comes from work,’ he says. ‘If you get stuck or have a block, just do something, anything! Even if you know instantly its wrong, it may spark the idea you were looking for. And never give up. It can be tough starting out in the design world and there is lots of competition so make sure you present yourself and your personality as well as your work. People invest in people as well as their ideas.’

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How City College provided a springboard for digital marketing entrepreneur Ben

From starting his own car-washing business as an 8-year-old because he desired more cash than pocket money provided, Ben Lambert has shown business Ben Lambertacumen from an early age. He also demonstrated precocious culinary gifts, being offered an apprenticeship with the legendary Roux brothers when he was just 14 and later working for a year at Le Gavroche in Mayfair under the mentorship of Michel Roux Junior. Ben has retained his love of the culinary arts and cites cooking for A-list celebs such as Tom Jones, Cher and Bob Geldof as a career highlight but while still in his teens, he came to the conclusion that the chef’s life wasn’t for him.

When it comes to his current career as a digital marketing entrepreneur, City College provided a springboard for Ben when he enrolled on a Business course in 1999. Ben thrived at College and achieved a distinction. “As well as being the place where I met my first proper girlfriend (!), my time at the College gave me a high-level broad understanding of business,” he says. “Even today, I still use what I learnt on the course when I’m writing a business plan.” His success on the course led to him being offered a place on a fast-track management programme at American Express where he later held marketing and project management positions and implemented a counter fraud system that saved the company $1.8m a day.

After five years at American Express, and still aged just 23, Ben took the plunge to start his own business and along with co-founding director Duncan Lindsay, he launched Networks Centre with just a laptop and a mobile. The company grew to become major cabling and security product distributors, with over 50 staff, 70,000 square foot of warehouse capacity, over 1000 active accounts throughout the UK and Europe and a turnover of over £12million.  Then, in 2013, Ben made the Neptkik collagedecision to sell his stake in the business, consolidate his skills in marketing and fulfil the ambition of starting his own digital agency in Brighton. Neptik was born and the company now provides creative digital services which enable a range of hospitality, lifestyle and business-2-business clients to maximise their business. Current clients include Michelin star chefs Galvin Brothers’ new restaurant in Dubai, Journeys by Design, HSBC insurance, Infinity Foods and Jessella – the UK’s biggest cladding company.

These are exciting times for Ben as he aims to expand Neptik and support
Brighton’s booming digital sector. “It’s not necessarily about us becoming theNeptik team Oct 16 (2)
biggest agency, but I want us to be the best,” 
he says. “I love the challenge of growing the business, training new staff and building the team and it’s so rewarding to be working on creative projects that we can really get our teeth into. Aside from work, I’m also very much focussed on being a dad. My 6 year old daughter lives with me half the week and it’s a huge part of my life.”

As for his advice for City College’s current Business students and budding entrepreneurs, Ben’s message is all about persistence: “When you think things aren’t progressing as you wish, just keep going and going and going…”

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