Staff and students collect donations to support the community during the festive season

Staff and students from Scarborough TEC collected donations for local food banks and charities throughout December to help support the many individuals and families in need throughout Christmas and the New Year.

Nicci Sedman, Student Support Advisor at Scarborough TEC, worked with Health & Social Care students to organise the event, collecting food, toiletries and toys for Westway Open Arms Food Bank and the Rainbow Centre, with donations coming from students and staff across the College and local businesses including Tesco and Sainsbury’s.

Nicci explained: “It’s really important that we demonstrate to our students the importance of supporting our local communities, especially this Christmas as it’s been a very difficult year for everyone. I wasn’t sure if we’d even be able to do it as things are a little different this year.

“I mentioned my idea at the College’s Staff Council; where our staff meet to discuss ideas, and Pam Osman, Programme Leader for Health & Social Care, suggested she would like to be involved with her students.

“Some of our students have needed to access local food banks in the past and I know how important they are to everyone at the moment. Our students and staff are very proud to be able to give back in this way and I am really proud of everyone for getting on board with the idea and donating so much.”

Geoff Boreham, from Westway Open Arms Food Bank, based on Westway in Eastfield, Scarborough, added: “We can only give out what we receive and it’s very important that we receive bulk donations like this, particularly at this time of year, as there is a very big need for families and individuals.

“We get a mixture of donations and this is very important to us that these have come from the students themselves. We do get some bulk donations, but we are always grateful for everything we get and it means a lot to us that these have come from the students themselves.”

Trish Kinsella, Manager of the Rainbow Centre, added: “There are hundreds of people at the moment who are struggling, who can’t afford food or presents for their children. Now those children will have presents from Father Christmas and people will have food to eat.

“This is going to make a difference to people’s lives. It’s been a horrible year, and they will know that people are caring for them and doing things for them because they want to help and they don’t need to feel alone. Thank you so much because this will make a difference for Christmas and beyond.”

Naomi Walkington, one of the Level 3 Health & Social Care students at Scarborough TEC who helped organise the collection and donated items herself, explained why she wanted to be involved in the initiative: “Not everyone gets the same opportunities in life and it’s nice to help other people who don’t get the same amount of support as the rest of us. I feel proud to be a part of something that supports local people.”