Entrepreneurial students from the YEI programme at Middlesbrough College have created Christmas Eve boxes to fundraise for local charity, Zoё's Place Trust.
Students on the 6-week long ‘STEPS’ programme have come together using their own initiative to build their CVs and experience with the well-being of those less fortunate in mind. The Steps programme is part of the Tees Valley Pathways Programme and is part-funded by the European Social Fund and supported under the Youth Employment Initiative.
The group decided they wanted to give back to the community this Christmas and chose to fundraise for Zoё's Place Trust, a local charity based in Middlesbrough that provides palliative, respite and end of life care to babies and infants suffering from life-limiting or life-threatening conditions. Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic the charity has suffered from a loss of donations, but Middlesbrough College’s students sought to put this right.
The talented group created the Christmas Eve boxes from scratch. This included hand-drawn colouring books for children, reindeer food and magical reindeer dust. The students then set out to sell their Christmas packs to staff and students across the College and the wider community.
YEI student, Rhys Thurlwell said: “This project has brought us all together as a group of friends and it has made us all feel positive during these challenging times. It has been lovely to do something for a good cause- helping a child in need is priceless.”
Classmate Sophie Thornborrow, added: “I have loved doing this fundraising project and it has helped me with my customer service, teamwork and communication skills. The project has also helped me see things from a different perspective. I have definitely become more confident and I feel like a better person for helping those in need.”
Thanks to the efforts of the team, the students have raised over £200 for Zoё's Place Trust and continue to sell their boxes to raise as much as possible for this well-deserving charity.
YEI instructors Emily Smith and Nicole Kelly said: “It has been fantastic to see the group come together and take their own initiative with this project. We are so proud of the students and it has been heart-warming to see them working so hard to fundraise for a good cause.
“It’s also been amazing to see the student’s talents shine through. The colouring books are hand-drawn and so much thought and detail has been put into each item that is in the Christmas Eve boxes.
“We have also been really impressed with the student’s communication and customer service skills. The group have been across the College selling their products and it’s been brilliant to watch their confidence grow.
“This project really shows that teamwork truly does make the dream work!”