Students work to help those having to spend winter out in the cold


The project was named ‘A heart of Gold to help with the cold’

Lifeskills students from Banbury college launched a project in the run up to Christmas to produce warmth bundles and hand-woven waterproof sleeping mats for those in need. 

They named the project ‘A heart of Gold to help with the cold’ and utilised social media to ask the public to donate hats, scarves, gloves, blankets, thick socks and unused plastic carrier bags.  Items were dropped off at a donation station set up by the students on the college campus. 

They also constructed large wooden weaving looms and made durable, waterproof sleeping mats, which were given to those spending the winter period out in the cold.

A representative from Connections, a charity set up to help solve homelessness, gave the students a talk on homelessness in the area and collected the warmth bundles and sleep mats for distribution.   These were then offered to those in need at Banbury’s Beacon centre – a drop-in centre for people who are homeless, poorly housed or socially excluded. 

Kate Johnson, Supported Learning teacher at Banbury and Bicester College said: “I am incredibly proud of our learners for their drive and determination to help those in the community less fortunate and contribute to change. 

“To identify a way in which to raise awareness, help others and execute their ideas with such purpose is a gift and a skill and one which these remarkable young people demonstrated once again.” 

Two students, Leila and Becky, said: “We loved taking part in this project. We worked really hard and felt very proud of what we achieved to help those in need. 

“We were shocked to learn how many people didn’t have a home and had to sleep outside and we hope that what we have made brings comfort to the people who need it in the cold and wet months.”

Kirsty, a North Outreach Support Worker at Connection Support, said: “It was really heartwarming to see how much effort and compassion the students had put into the homeless project. The mattresses they made by hand from carrier bags were absolutely incredible, and surprisingly comfortable! The students told me that the first one took a whole week to make!

“Out of all the projects they could have undertaken, they chose one to help individuals struggling with homelessness, and I think that this is truly admirable.

“The donations they collected of warm items such as hats, scarves, gloves and blankets, have already helped a number of people that are currently sleeping rough, and will continue to help people that come to us for support.

“I felt really honoured to get to meet the students, they were inquisitive, compassionate and whole heartedly dedicated to this worthy cause.”

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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