Level 1 and Level 2 students had already been working on a variety of ways to raise funds for Pleasley Vale-based Mansfield Wildlife Rescue, to support the move to its new premises, following a visit to the college by owner Cheryl Martins.
And now they are doubling up on their efforts after last night (Wednesday, May 18) when Cheryl lost everything in her home in a fire, including some of her own pets.
Cheryl had recently spoken to the students about the rescue centre which she has run from her Mansfield Woodhouse home for more than 18 years.
Having outgrown the garden, housing a range of rescue animal such as foxes, ducks, owls, parrots and squirrels, Cheryl was successful in obtaining planning permission in the New Year to move into former plant nursery on Common Lane, Pleasley Vale.
Her search to find, fund and prepare a new venue, set within five acres of woodland has taken many years, but Cheryl had planned for the new rescue centre to be up and running this summer.
Students had already been putting creative fundraising initiatives into motion including raffles and tombolas, cake sales, hair-braiding on fellow students, guess the name of the monkey and unicorn and number of sweets in a jar.
They’d also taken on some energetic ways of raising cash for the charity with a sponsored marathon and students completed 27 miles jointly on the sports field at the college’s Derby Road campus, with them completing so many laps each to rack up the miles.
Level 2 student Reanna Davies, 17, has spent the last three weeks going through her own paces with a staggered sponsored walk, which will see her cover more than 100 miles throughout May.
Reanna said: “We met Cheryl when she came into college and we love her charity. It’s amazing how she started out her rescue mission from her garden.
"We’re so very sad to hear what happened to her home and her animals, but we’ll do all we can to support her.
“I will carry on with my sponsored walk. Even my dog has enjoyed it although she only has little legs.
“I walk around the local woodland between college and work times, then at weekends I do bigger walks.
"I’m getting donations from friends and family and I’d like to gather in what I can for Cheryl."
Mansfield Wildlife Rescue’s plans for the future also include incorporating a café, small soft play area for children, a vegetable patch and a woodland walk behind the centre which can cater for wheelchair access.
Nearly £10,000 has already been raised after a fundraiser was set up by Paul Haywood, who runs Haywood’s, The Home Of Alrate Cheesecakes, on High Street, Mansfield Woodhouse.
To donate to the Go Fund Me page to help Cheryl please visit https://tinyurl.com/yc6etfpp
To donate to the charity directly please visit www.peoplesfundraising.com/donation/mansfieldwildliferescue.