Bags of support!

Students from two Stoke on Trent Colleges joined forces as they embarked on a fundraising mission to help them deliver sports coaching to children in South Africa.

Learners from Stoke on Trent College and Stoke on Trent Sixth Form College were at Sainsbury’s, Stoke, on Wednesday October 9th, helping shoppers with their packing in a bid raise vital funds for “Challenge South Africa”.

Funds raised at the event will now help towards sending 25 students to South Africa on the once-in-a-lifetime experience in 2014.

The Challenge South Africa trip would also see them visit an AIDS orphanage and explore Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned.

The students were from a range of courses including sports science, public services, health and social care, childcare and hospitality and catering.

It was the first event in a long list of fundraising initiatives the students will be carrying out to help their Challenge South Africa dream come to life.

Organised by the colleges, the Challenge South Africa project aims to raise students awareness of Equality & Diversity, teach the students about the history and culture of South Africa, as well develop a range of social and personal skills such as teamwork, leadership and communication.

Calvin Austin, Learner Involvement Co-ordinator at Stoke-on-Trent College, said: “South Africa is such a different environment to the one our students live in that it offers a unique opportunity for them to experience something they will never forget and broaden their horizons.

They have all shown great commitment in raising the money they need to participate in the challenge and we hope the local community will get behind their endeavor.”

Rachel Basnett, External Partnerships & Events Coordinator at the City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth form College, said: “Our students have been very creative in their fundraising ideas so far, from physical endurance challenges to car boot sales and cleaning friends and family’s houses.

This is a vital part of the project, not only to ensure their place on the plane but it also develops valuable skills such as teamwork and communication that will not only support them out in South Africa but throughout their lifetime.”

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