Shipley College Supports local community members
during the rising living costs crisis
The main purpose of youth social action is to empower young people to make a positive
difference to others or the environment. A great example of supporting the local
community members is through setting up a foodbank drive.
Good for ME, Good for FE is a national campaign focusing on promoting foodbank donations and volunteering opportunities in local communities. A key reason for focusing on this project is the high levels of social deprivation in Bradford and the surrounding areas, with some students and staff from the colleges using the foodbanks themselves.
Another key focus of Good for ME, Good for FE was to promote the link between good mental health and well-being through volunteering, which is a key benefit promoted through youth social action.
The rising cost of living has become a crisis in the UK with 77% of adults feeling worried about their finances. Therefore, there has never been a more important time to unite as a community to support, local individuals/families.
Shipley College ran a foodbank drive this year in support of Bradford North Foodbank. In order to engage the students, student volunteers were recruited to drive the collection and there was a variety of activities including, PSHE sessions, information stalls, class drop-ins, and setting up donation areas. PSHE sessions gave students a chance to have discussions about social deprivation within their own community, learn about it, ask questions and see how socially impactful activities have a clear intended benefit to a community, cause, or social problem.
The project had socially impactful benefits to the local community with harvest and winter donations supporting the local community members using the foodbanks. Positive feedback from student volunteers demonstrates where they have recognised the importance of their impact through their contribution and demonstrated learning and reflection.
Students across the Colleges are more aware of how many people need to use foodbanks and the benefit and positive impact these services provide. The project helped to start embedding these activities, with some student groups intending to carry on Foodbank donations into the next academic year.
I approached the students' sessions in an enthusiastic and engaging way, which really helped to engage the students and stretch and challenge their thoughts and ideas as well as start to enjoy and enable them to become involved in socially impactful activities.
As the Good For Me, Good for FE campaign finishes for the academic 21/22 year, Susie Good, A Group Strategic Projects Co-ordinator said “I am delighted to say it's been a fantastic 2nd to last week and I can confirm we have now reached £2.08m in social value, this is such an incredible achievement; thank you so much; we are incredibly proud of the sector. We have exceeded all of our national targets and we are grateful to each and every member of staff and student supporting the campaign. Our thirty-third week of monitoring has captured:
● 114,000 volunteering hours have been completed
● 98,000 food items donated
● £118,000 raised through fundraising”
Food is a basic human right - Therefore, we must develop an attitude that fundamentals like nutritious food and warm, safe housing are everyone’s entitlement. It is important for young people to learn about these issues and support individuals in their communities who are having to make the choice nowadays of whether to eat or heat their homes.