Bringing Christmas cheer to families in need

Published: December 17, 2019

Students from Telford College have served up some Christmas cheer to families in need by donating emergency food and gifts parcels to a local charity.

Lucy Oakley, Tea Evans, Madeline Parton and Mollie Martin, who are on the level three childcare course, raised more than £100 from a bake sale at the campus.

They used the proceeds to go on a food shopping spree, filling two trolleys with ingredients for festive food parcels – each with enough to make three main meals, lunches, and breakfasts.

They also set up a food bank drop-off point at the college, to collect more items.

The students have now handed the parcels to Telford Crisis Support, which has been running foodbank operations across the borough for the past five years, and issues around 250 food parcels a month. 

They also volunteered their time to help with its Baby Bank project, a new initiative to support struggling new parents with essential items including nappies, baby toiletries, blankets and clothes.

“It was really eye-opening to see how many people were using the food bank, especially at this time of the year,” Madeline explained.

Students Mollie, Tea, Madeline and Lucy

“I really enjoyed the knowledge that I was helping others.”

Lucy Oakley said: “I was surprised that we managed to purchase two full trolleys of food with the proceeds of the cake sale.”

Mollie added: “At Christmas time, families are more in need than ever and there can be a lack of donations. We wanted to take part to break down stigma – we don’t know who amongst our peers may use a food bank, or need to in the future.

“We spent most of our time volunteering at the baby bank – organising clothes, toiletries and donations – there aren’t enough volunteers.”

Tea Evans added: “I gained a lot more knowledge. Before this community project, I didn’t really think much about food banks or who uses them.

“It’s surprising how many people are happy to support our community, and wouldn’t mind buying a little extra for a family in need.”

Dan Blasczyk, student engagement officer at Telford College, said: “It’s important for us as a college to raise awareness of those who are less fortunate than ourselves.

“We’re passionate about our local community and always endeavour to engage our students in outreach activities. I’m very proud of the hard work our students have put into this project.”