AECC University College Launches New Virtual Evening Events for Students: AECC Uplift and Connect

At AECC University College, we know that student life is quite different at the moment and that many students are doing their best to adapt during these uncertain times, although perhaps missing the opportunity to socialise with their peers. We care about the mental health and wellbeing of our students and wanted to do something positive to bring the community together - albeit virtually.

Our Student Services team is pleased to announce the launch of ‘Uplift and Connect’; a new series of evening sessions where students can meet together online to have some fun, learn new skills, discuss topics and matters that are important to them and hear from some great speakers with powerful and uplifting stories to tell.

The first session, taking place on Thursday 12th November from 6:00pm – 8:00pm, is a talk with inspirational speaker and author of Stand Tall Little Girl, Hope Virgo who will be discussing the rising tide of mental health issues. Hope has a powerful story to tell and, as such has recently been featured on news programmes nationally, including BBC Newsnight, Victoria Derbyshire, Good Morning Britain, Sky News and BBC News.

For four years, she managed to keep her struggles with her mental health hidden, keeping dark secrets from friends and family. But in 2007 Hope's world changed forever when she was admitted to a mental health hospital. Her skin was yellowing, her heart was failing and she was barely recognisable. Forced to leave her family and friends, the hospital became her home. Over the next year, at her lowest ebb, Hope had to find the courage to beat her anorexia. Keen to break the stigma surrounding mental health conditions that affect one in four people and costs employers between £33 and £42 billion annually, Hope will be speaking to students about her experiences and ongoing recovery process.

The second event planned for the series will be an online ‘cook-along’ with Wayne Burbidge from Burb-Bar-Q, a family-run catering company based in Southbourne. Students will have the opportunity to learn how to cook a classic Spanish paella dish, as well as a vegan alternative.

For more details about the new series of events and to register to attend sessions, visit:

AECC University College’s Student Services are on hand to offer students advice and guidance during these difficult times and to help them make the most of their time while studying. More information can be found here or contact