College students turn into Santa's helpers to spread festive cheer

19 December 2019

Caring College students swapped the classroom for the community to spread festive magic across Middlesbrough this Christmas.

Students and tutors from Middlesbrough College rallied together to deliver a host of feelgood events throughout December.  

Health and beauty students Tayla Roxby and Tamzin Charlton visited Dalby Court Care Home in Coulby Newham to give treatments to some of its 52 residents, including hand massages and manicures.

It was a double delight when 20 performing art students from the College returned to the home for an afternoon of carol singing – with residents and carers getting in the spirit and joining in.

Kerry Jones, activities coordinator at Dalby Court Care Home, said: “For many of our residents who don’t have family around, Christmas can be a lonely time.

“Most stay in their rooms but seeing the students around the home has made them come out and interreact with others which has been lovely to see – it’s made their Christmas!”

The festivities continued as the College’s Public Services and NCS (National Citizen Service) programme students visited Roseleigh Care Home in Middlesbrough to help residents celebrate.

Students donned festive outfits and rolled up their sleeves to help transform the home into a winter wonderland with festive garlands and tinsel – before hosting an afternoon of bingo, buffet and belting Christmas carols.  

And the College’s NCS students’ feelgood festive endeavours didn’t stop there. As part of a charity project for their course, students collected foodbank donations to deliver to Southbank Baptise Church ahead of what will be a busy Christmas period.

Learners set up food donation bins around the College and in staff rooms, collected contributions from family and friends and bought additional items to donate.

Garry Smith, Public Services lecturer at Middlesbrough College, said: “We all know how important foodbanks can be, especially at this time of year. The students came up with the initial idea and have been so enthusiastic throughout the project.

“They’ve worked really hard to collect as many items as possible to take to Southbank Baptise Church which will make a real difference to people in our community – we’re very proud.”

To round up its month of giving, the College headed to Kirkley Lodge in Middlesbrough to host a Christmas Community Café. Life Skills students handed out home-made mince pies and the College’s ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) choir performed much-loved Christmas carols for residents.

Zoe Lewis, principal and chief executive at Middlesbrough College, said: “Our students have really demonstrated the meaning of Christmas spirit.

“Dropping off foodbank donations or volunteering for an hour or two might seem like a small thing – but it can make a real difference.

“Many older and vulnerable people in our community don’t have friends or family around to celebrate with, however our students wanted to make this Christmas one to remember – and we couldn’t be prouder.”


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