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College joins forces with local GPs to train

Published: 26th June 2020

St Austell residents can now benefit from a healthy living scheme thanks to a partnership between GPs and a local college.

Local residents already benefiting from a healthy living scheme thanks to a partnership between GPs and colleges can now study to become part of the future workforce.

Cornwall College St Austell launched an Exercise Referral scheme with St Austell Healthcare over 3 years ago and have successful supported over 120 local residents with certain medical conditions, to participate in physical activity in a safe and friendly environment, to decrease sedentary related illnesses.

With Exercise Referral schemes now becoming more popular with GPs seeing the benefits in patient’s physical and mental health, a workforce needs to be trained.

Cornwall College St Austell is relaunching its Level 3 Diploma in Exercise Referral in collaboration with Par Track’s Heathy Living Co-ordinator, Mel Wilkes to provide those fitness professionals studying to become ‘Exercise Referral’ practitioners with a work placement and mentoring support, meaning they work with real clients whilst qualifying. The learners will still also benefit from working along the current clients within the Colleges Fitness Suite.

Healthy Living Coordinator at Par Track and 3 Harbours Surgeries, Mel Wilkes, previously completed her FSDC in Health and Fitness and BSC in Sport, Health and Exercise Science at Cornwall College.

“It is fantastic we now have this collaboration with Cornwall College St Austell,” Mel said.

“This is both a great resource for the local community and students who are studying to specialise in this field in the future.”

The Exercise referral course at Cornwall College St Austell will provide students a development process that will help hone learners’ ability to provide customized health strategies to those clients who struggle with a wider range of severe health difficulties, developing essential application of theory into practice while undertaking their course.

This course is an ideal progression for current personal trainers looking to expand their knowledge and client base.

The Healthy Living Coordinator asks clients to volunteer onto the student work experience programme, whilst remaining under the governance and safeguarding principals that are provided by Par Track; exercise Referral scheme along with Cornwall College Health and Safety regulations, thus creating an amalgamation of protection for students, clients and staff.

The project will be conducted at Par Track, utilising its new modern functional equipment and facilities.

Exercise Referral student, Sophie Jenkin, said working on a one to one basis with a client at Par Track was “a really beneficial experience towards my learning.”

“As a visual learner the hands on experience approach benefited me greatly. This experience and the lessons I had on the course means I can now feel ready to pass on to my own GP referral clients in the future.”

Cornwall College St Austell is holding a virtual open day on Thursday 23rd July 5-7pm.

Hosted online, prospective learners and their families can learn more about the wide range of full time courses on offer at the local college, as well as learning about some of the new programmes for September 2020 including Childcare, Health & Social Care and Business.

Head of College, Mark Wardle, said he was looking forward to speaking with people at the event.

“We are investing in every aspect of the learner experience, so I recommend people join us online and see some of the incredible things taking place and how they can achieve the career of their dreams. The Cornwall College Group has a new highly experienced senior leadership team that understands what a quality education looks like and how learners can achieve fantastic careers.”

For more information on the range of courses available at Cornwall College St Austell visit or call 0330 123 2523.


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Sports & Fitness, Cornwall College St Austell, Cornwall College St Austell


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