Middlesbrough College makes community proud

20 April 2020

Community spirited staff and students at Middlesbrough College have donated time and equipment to help local hospitals and groups.

And 17-year-old Katie Sidgwick, a Level 3 BTEC Fashion Studies student has been making colourful face masks for hospitals and local care homes. 

Katie said: "I decided to create the masks because a lot of people who are key workers were asking on social media if anyone had them. I wanted to help, even if it is a small thing.”

Using her textiles skills Katie has made up to 40 masks in one day. 

Amidst the current crisis, teachers, managers and students have volunteered for various roles – including portering, catering, cleaning, care and driving.

Some teachers with engineering experience have also volunteered to help clinical technicians maintain equipment through local hospitals. 

And the College has also donated its personal protection equipment (PPE) – normally used across its industrial and healthcare training facilities – to staff at James Cook University Hospital and medical practices across Teesside.

Remaining food from the College’s kitchens and on-site restaurant has been given to local foodbanks to help during the lockdown. 

Hundreds of safety goggles, aprons and gloves were delivered to various organisations, along with hand sanitizer and toilet rolls to Fir Tree Children’s Home in Middlesbrough.

Zoe Lewis, principal and chief executive of Middlesbrough College, said: “I’m incredibly proud of the response to this crisis from all of our staff and students.

“The College has always played a central role in our community and I’m pleased we’re showing that more than ever in this time of need.

“With such a broad range of skills and experience across our teaching staff and students, the College is perhaps uniquely placed to provide the support on the many fronts this pandemic demands.

“On Teesside we know how to look after one another, and our team are doing us proud.”

Staff from the College’s art and design department have also donated boxes of art supplies to the Hemlington-based Linx Project, a not-for-project organisation which supports young people aged 10-19. 

Last month, in response to the virus outbreak, Middlesbrough College moved its classes online – giving students access to learning resources and live teaching from home. 

Staff continue to support more than 300 vulnerable students with regular calls and are providing free school meals in the form of weekly ‘cash for food’ payments for those entitled.

Staff are carrying out voluntary work between teaching online classes and supporting students.

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