15th Dec 2022
Across the College, students have been getting into the festive spirit and working hard to fundraise for charities dear to them. This year, Abingdon’s Pathway students have been particularly ambitious, with a goal to surpass the outstanding £975.00 which they raised last year and generate even more awareness for seven charities of their choice.
The students have been taking part in the College’s Social Action Project, part of the College’s study programme which encourages all full-time students to contribute to their local community and aims to enhance student's awareness of their social responsibility. The project means a lot to all the students who were keen to get involved and share what the project means to them:
“The project meant a lot to me, because we sold things to raise money for different charities” Chloe, Student.
“To me, it means all of us getting to work in one team and working on things to help others in need” Charlie, Student.
“It means getting to work in a team, support charities and making people aware of them, especially the smaller ones.” Damon, Student.
For their Social Action Project, the Abingdon Pathway students chose to combine three fundraisers: a food collection for the Abingdon Food Bank, a programme of sponsored sports challenges, and finally a Christmas Sale which they coordinated through their Entry Level 2 BTEC Course ‘Understanding Work Skills’ in their Unit ‘Contributing to Running an Event’.
The project was student led from the offset, with Pathways Lecturer Steven Read incorporating consistent opportunities for students to gain key workplace skills. The group quickly established their teamworking and communication skills through a competitive escape room challenge. “I gained lots of communication skills through talking to other people.” Billy, Student. The group then assigned roles for the project including customer representatives, a head of finance and a team leader, ensuring their project was well organised. Collectively they then established seven charities they wished to support and ranked them 1-7, before deciding proportionally how the raised contributions would be divvied up. Student Kaya shared “My favourite part was choosing the charities.” The seven charities they chose this year were: Cancer Research, Lord’s Taverners, The Donkey Sanctuary, British Heart Foundation, the RSPCA, Blue Cross and Autism Oxford UK.
To make sure everything was perfect for the day, the students practiced and finessed their event planning skills; creating a floor plan for their sale tables and a mock table to enhance their sale presentation. They also worked alongside Propellor at Common Leys Farm to grow seeds, create gifts and ensure they had a surplus of stock to later sell. On the day, students Chelsie and Lauren’s favourite part was selling the hats and scarfs they had created.
The students confidently led the sale; displaying strong speaking and listening skills, customer service and resilience, as they inevitably faced common event challenges. The students were responsive to feedback, lowering prices which they believed to be too high and were independent, regulating their own noise levels and managing their rest periods throughout the workday.
Following the event, the students completed a self-awareness form and received feedback from their tutor, Steven Read. The group involved have advocated for their peers to follow in their footsteps as they shared the following advice to those wanting to do a similar project:
“Don’t over think it” Nathan, Student. “Trust your instincts and have a great time” Evan, Student.
“If you have the chance, I would recommend you do it” Brendon, Student.