Ayrshire College has won the Inclusive College Award at the College Development Network (CDN) College Awards 2021 for its popular podcast Rockpool Podcasts.

Created, hosted and produced by Music, Performance and Sound Production lecturer John McBlain, Rockpool Podcasts is a variety podcast show featuring a mix of interviews, special guests, stand-alone episodes, themed episodes, and episodes produced by students.

It was recognised as being an excellent example of mainstreaming equality in a highly innovative way for it is embedded in course delivery; supports the advancement of equality of opportunity; and seeks to foster good relations.

Having now released 150 episodes on Spotify John McBlain said of the award win: “This recognition has been an absolute highlight of a difficult and challenging two years for the whole sector, and on a personal basis. I’ve put in a lot of hard work into this during a difficult period where I suffered a tragic loss at the start of semester one.

“It’s an amazing accolade for Ayrshire College. Although I kickstarted the podcast, it has grown to become embedded into the curriculum and now plays a key part of Ayrshire College’s ethos of mainstreaming equality. I’d just like to say a huge thank you to the special guests we’ve had on Rockpool Podcasts, to the students who have got involved, and to the friends of the pod who always support and champion us.”

A special 150th episode celebrating the award win is now available to listen to on Spotify.

The episode features interviews with the hosts and performers, as well as voicemails of congratulations from the likes of Ayrshire College Principal Carol Turnbull, Hospitality Industry Trust’s David Cochrane MBE, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK’s Divina de Campo and Charlie Harding, host of the ‘Switched on Pop’ podcast.

Find out more about Rockpool Podcasts on Twitter at @rockpoolpod.