Christmas has been saved . . . but only after Santa managed to solve a series of cryptic challenges to find his way out of an escape room at Telford College.
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The man in the red suit found himself locked in a specially created escape room at the college’s Haybridge campus in Wellington, where he was challenged to solve a series of tricky tests.
There were some nervous moments, but it all had a happy ending, as Santa managed to work his way through all the cryptic challenges set by the college’s foundation students.
Santa’s socially-distanced escape was captured on camera as part of the college’s live streamed virtual staff Christmas celebration, hosted by principal Graham Guest and deputy principal Janet Stephens.
Staff watched the stream, which spread festive spirit and created a real feelgood factor around the campus, in their festive bubbles.
Graham was mid-way through his introductory remarks when the broadcast was interrupted by a dramatic newsflash saying: ‘Breaking News: Santa gets locked in Telford College escape room’.
In between live video links to the escape room to check on Santa’s progress, the team celebrated the achievements of staff during what everyone acknowledged had been a challenging year.
Staff members recognised in the annual awards were Hannah Smith, Helen Swinnerton, Emma Wade, Christiane Clegg, Bob Jenkins, Conner Turner, Jemma Thorneycroft, Dan Blasczyk, Jeff Fletcher, Lora Rogers, and Jon Greenway.
There was also a special presentation to Chris Rogers, who has retired after working as a
catering assistant at the college for 30 years.
After a nervous half hour, Santa finally made his way up to the studio, saying: “That was tough – whoever put me in there is definitely on my naughty list!”
Graham paid tribute to the Telford College staff who he described as ‘real heroes’ this year throughout the Covid-19 crisis. “I don’t think they realise just how much they have done, to be honest,” he said.
He also had a special mention too for the college’s cleaning teams, saying their ‘tireless work’ had been pivotal in helping to keep Covid-19 disruption on campus to an absolute minimum.
And he thanked the recognised unions at college for their close and productive working relationship with the leadership team.
“It’s been this absolute collective approach that has got us into such a positive position, and I really hope this will continue in the new year.”
Graham also revealed that the college was in a good position for 2021, with enrolment for 16-18 year-olds at Telford College 7th Form exceeding targets for the coming year.
The celebration also included festive music performances featuring the college’s music and foundation students – as well as a festive lip sync montage from a group of 10 college learner managers!
Delivering his Christmas message, Paul Hinkins who chairs the college corporation said it was equipped for the future with ‘ambition and vision’.
It is exactly three years since Telford College was created through the merger of TCAT and New College Telford, and Paul said: “In each one of the three years we have improved, and we are now a force to be reckoned with.”