COLUMN: Community is a key part of college curriculum

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Community is a prevalent theme at West Nottinghamshire College, with numerous events and activities organised throughout the year to focus on, and help, our communities.

We pride ourselves in providing all students with opportunities to get the most from college life and, crucially, make a difference locally and nationally.

Over Christmas, students organised a festive market to raise funds for the Mansfield Cold Weather Shelter, our participation in national Christmas Jumper Day was extended to two weeks to raise cash for Save the Children, and our popular Santa fun run raised £420 for the town’s cold weather shelter.

Other initiatives in 2017 included raising cash for the World Wildlife Fund, a Hallowe’en ‘zombie run’ and Children in Need events.

Plans in the pipeline for this year include The Big Snore in March to raise funds for the homeless charity Framework. Also, students can apply for a place on a volunteering adventure to Zanzibar which will happen in 2019. Students will plan, budget and fundraise in the lead up to this.

But these are just some examples – fundraising takes place all-year round, with more than £8,000 raised last academic year alone.

By taking part in activities such as these, our young people make a significant contribution to charities and good causes.

But, just as importantly, it aids their individual growth and development by increasing their self-confidence and equipping them with all-important employability skills.

The impact on students who become involved with the wider learning team is overwhelmingly positive. Not only do they have a better educational experience, they become more proactive and focused on achieving their goals. Best of all, they develop into mature, caring and active citizens who make life better in our communities.