A group of 13 students from Stoke on Trent College will head to South Africa this February to deliver art and sports coaching in schools, distribute food parcels and volunteer at a soup kitchen in shanty town communities.
The students – ranging in age from 17 to 21 – will travel to South Africa after raising £600 each to fund their trip, as well as receiving support and donations from a host of local organisations including Stoke City Football Club Community Trust, Emma Bridgwater, Stoke on Trent School Sport Partnership, Staffordshire Buddies and St John’s CE Primary School.
During a nine-month fundraising challenge, the students carried out activities including bag packing at supermarkets, raffles, fundraising meals, car boot sales and cake sales to hit their targets. They study a range of courses across the college including childcare, health and social care, hairdressing, sport and public services.
The group will travel to South Africa on 10 February for a 10-day trip, where they will visit Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, and the Apartheid Museum. They’ll also distribute food parcels, volunteer at a soup kitchen, and deliver arts and crafts activities and sports coaching in local schools, before visiting a local high school to compare the education system.
Calvin Austin, Learner Involvement Coordinator at Stoke on Trent College, comments: “The students have worked exceptionally hard to raise the funds and to prepare for the trip, with the help of some fantastic team work from local partners.”
He explains: Stoke City FC Community Trust has helped to raise funds for our food parcels, as well as supplying us with uniform for delivering sports coaching in schools. Maurice Greenham from Staffordshire Buddies delivered a presentation on HIV and Aids, while Nigel Edwards from the Stoke on Trent School Sport Partnership has delivered a workshop on presentation skills. St John’s CE Primary School in Trent Vale has fundraised for additional food parcels.
Local pottery firm Emma Bridgewater is set to donate gifts to take over to South Africa, too.”
“The students and the College are very grateful to all those who have taken the time to help with fundraising efforts or helped to prepare the students for the trip.
It’s a great way for them to help out in the community here in Stoke on Trent and now to do the same in South Africa. It also helps to develop their understanding of equality and diversity, their confidence and their social and personal skills
19-year-old hairdressing student Daisy Preston is just one of the students who has risen to the ‘South Africa Challenge’ – raising all of the £600 she needed for her trip on her own within the first few weeks of the nine-month challenge.
She says: “I’m really looking forward to seeing how people live in South Africa which will give me the opportunity to compare lifestyles. I am also looking forward to distributing food parcels to the deprived communities of Cape Town.”
Fellow student Caitlin Cooke is looking forward visiting local schools and delivering sports coaching sessions to the children
Follow the students’ trip on Stoke on Trent College’s Facebook page – which can be found at www.facebook.com/StokeOnTrentCollege