City College Plymouth College foodbank relaunches as support hub
City College Plymouth are proud to be supporting the Good for ME, Good for FE, led by LSEC. The Good for ME Good for FE campaign aims to generate £1m of social value via a sustainable programme of community action including volunteering, fundraising and charitable partnerships.
The campaign builds on the huge success of FE Foodbank Friday campaign. This saw colleges around the country come together during the pandemic to raise over £47,000 and collect more than 20,000 items for local foodbanks.
City College Plymouth foodbank started two years ago with just a few tins and jars stored in a cupboard; now the onsite foodbank at City College Plymouth has become so large it has been allocated a new home and is relaunching as CityPlym Community Support Hub.
On learning of the hardships of one of their course mates, a group of Access to Higher Education students approached the Students’ Union at the end of 2019 with the request to open a small foodbank at the College. The compassionate students were horrified to learn one of their group was having to miss lectures to attend foodbank appointments, so they launched an appeal for donations of food and toiletries to help students in need.
Since then, the foodbank has received thousands of food donations from students and staff, has conducted its own fundraising appeal and received local authority grants totalling more than £26,000, with a percentage of the money being shared amongst community action groups in Plymouth and South East Cornwall.
Having outgrown its original home within the Students’ Union, the new base for the foodbank has space for larger items and a clothes bank. Renamed CityPlym Community Support Hub, students in need can still receive food parcels, but will also have access to essentials linked to energy and water, clothing, equipment such as fridge, freezers and ovens, toiletries, baby items, pregnancy packs, free sanitary products, help with payment of energy bills and much more.
The College’s Student Experience Manager, Chaz Talbot, said: “Everyone involved with the foodbank has been humbled by the levels of support shown by students and staff. We launched the foodbank just a few months before the first lockdown, which proved difficult to begin with, but we were able to continue helping those in desperate situations by delivering food parcels.
“The response to our fundraising appeals and grants received from Plymouth City Council has also been immense and we have been able to pay that forward to other community action groups, so even more people are able to benefit from the generosity of the City College community.”
Head of Student Journey, Bob Hunter, said: “It really hit home to our students to learn their peers were missing out on their education just to be able to feed themselves and their families. It is a cruel reality that foodbanks are needed at all, but if having one on campus makes someone’s day that little bit easier, we’re pleased to be able to support them in this way.”
“Our College community continue to support the Good for ME Good for FE campaign that is really making a difference to students and their families across the FE sector”
Bob Director of Student Journey