New Zephaniah learning centre opened at Harrow College

A new learning centre has been officially opened during a launch event at Harrow College.

The newly refurbished building is based at the college’s Harrow Weald Campus and provides students with high quality facilities and a modern spacious learning environment in which they can develop their skills and knowledge. The 2-storey building includes a ground floor designed especially to support students with learning difficulties and disabilities, featuring IT facilities, an open social space, hygiene and medication rooms as well as a first floor dedicated to the new college library and IT classrooms.

Jules Pipe, Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills (Greater London Authority) unveiled a plaque with Cllr Kareema Marikar, Mayor of Harrow. The event was hosted by Pat Carvalho, Principal of Harrow College and Deputy CEO of HCUC. Guests included College governors, local care providers, those involved in the building's development as well as College teaching staff, support staff and students.

The building has been named as ‘Zephaniah’ after the highly respected British poet and writer Benjamin Zephaniah, voted as one of Britain’s top 50 post world war 2 writers. Benjamin has written best-selling poetry books for children, several novels aimed at teenagers and numerous collections of poetry. He has been awarded the BBC Young Playwright’s Award, as well as honorary doctorates from several UK universities.

Benjamin said: “Knowing that your Learning Centre is carrying my name is something that fills me with pride, especially because of your inclusive and creative approach to learning. It’s not just about my journey, but also the journey of all the student who will be using this centre. There is very little we can do about the past, but we can all educate ourselves for better futures. To know that I, or my name, will play a part in the lives of all your students and teachers is very inspiring."

Speaking at the event, Jules Pipe said: “I was really pleased to launch Harrow College’s new Zephaniah Building, which was funded through the Mayor’s Skills for Londoners Capital Fund. The Mayor and I are committed to ensuring all Londoners, whatever their background, can share in the capital’s prosperity and fulfil their potential – this brilliant new learning centre will help equip many more local people with the skills they need”