Telford College students have been gaining valuable work experience by working at the Severn Hospice charity shop in Wellington.
The partnership was set up to help the college’s foundation students – and has proved so popular that some are now also volunteering in their own time.
Foundation learning offers practical, personalised programmes to help students thrive in today’s rapidly changing economy and develop the skills they need for adulthood.
The government-backed programme aims to support all young people to achieve their full potential, based on their aptitudes, abilities and interests.
Severn Hospice retail area manager Tracey Hill added: “The whole collaboration has been fantastic, and fits really well with our company values.
“We’re a community-based charity, and working with the students from Telford College reinforces this.
Having the students in the shop is like having a breath of fresh air – working with new people is always fun for everyone.”
The placement experience has been so inspiring for two of the students, George Price and James Griffiths, that they approached the Wellington and Oakengates store managers to become regular volunteers in their own time.
Tracy said: “The two students who are now permanent volunteers are thriving with us – we’re seeing them flourish and build confidence.
“This project is giving students essential work skills, and being able to offer two permanent positions is a privilege.”
Pearl Maiden, a long serving Severn Hospice volunteer, said: “The volunteers at the shop love having the students on work placement – the community and family spirit looks after them.”
And Sharon Brown, Severn Hospice outreach practitioner, added: “This project is important to the charity. The way the staff and students engage with the visitors who donate items because of grievance situations has been exemplary.”
Telford College also has a pop-up shop on the Haybridge campus, staffed by foundation students, which is raising funds for Severn Hospice this year.
Foundation tutor Kristy Stuart explained: “The shop is working in collaboration with the charity by launching a section for pre-loved books and DVDs which will be sold on behalf of Severn Hospice.”