Care through the Colleges

A group of students sitting around a table while crafting

For most students, their college is the first place they turn to for support, whether it’s a friendly word of advice or something more pressing. Starting with their college on day one and graduating together, the colleges are a huge part of the student journey and thanks to your philanthropy, they have been able to support our students when they have needed it the most and respond with agility to their changing needs.

This year the colleges have been able to continue many of the activities and initiatives which were started last year, which proved to be hugely popular.

In response to the rising cost of living and food costs, the colleges set up community food cupboards providing items such as long-life food supplies, essential toiletry items and household goods, all freely available to students. This initiative proved to be extremely popular and thanks to donor funding, the colleges have been able to continue this support this year.

The college communal kitchens have been a welcome hub for many of our commuting students, with the provision of hot drinks, breakfast items and snacks. Not only does this help students to save their money, it provides them with somewhere to relax and socialise with others between classes, something for which the students have been incredibly grateful.

Thanks to donor support, the colleges have been able to continue the free food events which were started last year, delivered at different times of the day, such as breakfast, lunch and dinner, in order to reach as many students as possible. These events have always been extremely popular, highlighting the need for this support, however, this year, linking these events with existing events in college social calendars such as Halloween and Christmas helped to create more of an integrated and social atmosphere.

The colleges continually review the impact of the initiatives which they deliver whilst assessing what the needs of students are, ensuring that funding is put to best use in supporting students.

During the pandemic, an IT Hardship Fund was introduced, allowing students to access loan laptops and funding to purchase equipment and support for equipment repairs. Thanks to this support, students who may otherwise have struggled were able to continue studying remotely. This funding ended, yet the need for digital support amongst students remained. Thanks to philanthropic funding, Bowland College were able to purchase a laptop to support students who may already be carrying a financial burden and experiencing digital hardship, to manage their studies in their own space. This long-term investment enables the college to provide valuable ongoing technological support, a critical lifeline for students who are impacted by digital poverty.

Supporting students in the workplace has also been on the agenda for Bowland College. Knowing that one of the barriers that some students face when attending job interviews was being able to afford appropriate clothing, the college committed to helping these students by creating a voucher scheme which would allow students to purchase items towards a new outfit, helping students to look and feel their best. Rather than loaning clothes, the voucher scheme allows for personal choice and independence, important factors for all individuals. The impact of this initiative goes beyond aesthetics – feeling confident in what they are wearing can help significantly boost a student’s confidence and self-esteem and can go a long way in helping to prepare students for employment success.

A number of wellbeing events have also been arranged and extremely well attended by students, including crafting and a visit to Pendle College by a wonderful group of alpacas!

Thank you to all donors for empowering your colleges through your philanthropy.

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