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Celebrating Rotherham College’s Festive Community Spirit

17 December 2020

As we look to close our doors for the winter break we’ve taken some time to celebrate the fantastic work which has happened over the last few weeks.

Alongside continuing face-to-face and online teaching and learning, many staff and students at Rotherham College have also been busy organising charitable activities and donations and raising money for those less fortunate.

It’s fair to say it hasn’t been the easiest of years, but we’re proud to end 2020 on a high and to celebrate what’s most important throughout this time of year: how to bring happiness to others.

Here’s what we’ve been up to…

Engineering Staff and Students Foodbank Donation

Staff and students in the engineering department organised a charity foodbank donation to help those in need during the festive period.

General food items such as tinned goods, jams, cereals and festive treats including selection boxes, yule logs, Christmas dinner items and chocolates were donated to Rotherham Foodbank in the town centre.

Rotherham College Engineering tutor Laura Barnes organised the donation with Engineering Progress Tutor Jessica Hall.

Laura said: “We would particularly like to thank all of our students for their contributions to this amazing cause. The Engineering Students have done amazing this past month contributing to the collection and helped pack it up and load the car. This donation will help so many people within our local community during the festive period.

“The engineering team are currently looking at ways to make this an ongoing effort to support the local community and help those in need.”

Rotherham College Engineering Curriculum Manager Jo Settle praised the staff and students for their efforts.

Jo said: “Thank you to Laura and Jess for organising this and thank you to the students for being involved and so enthusiastic about it, it has been a great event all round.”

Catering and Hospitality Students Provide Food for Thought

Catering and Hospitality students with a passion for community spirit provided festive-themed boxes for Age UK, to bring a little comfort to those who may be experiencing loneliness or isolation.

Students prepared and packed the boxes, which contained items such as Christmas pudding, mince pies and chutney and these were delivered to elderly people in the local community.

Rotherham College Restaurant Manager and Trainer John Deehan was key in forming the partnership with the charity.

John said: “Rotherham College is passionate about supporting local good causes and we wanted to support a group that provides support for the elderly in our society, particularly those who may live on their own or experience loneliness.”

Age UK Rotherham Chief Executive Lesley Dabell said the support from the College would help bring joy to those missing their friends and family.

Lesley said: “We were very pleased to hear that the learners at Rotherham College wanted to create these festive treat boxes for some of the town’s older people this Christmas.

“The boxes are being delivered to people who are isolated and who receive a little bit of help at home from our Care and Support Service to keep independent and be as active as they can. Because of the pandemic, many of them don’t see other people much and may also miss seeing their family and friends this Christmas time. The gifts are a great way to let people know that they’re part of a community that cares about them.”

Lesley continued: “We hope that the learners enjoyed creating the festive treats as much as they will be enjoyed by the recipients.”

Age UK can be contacted for information, advice and enquiries about their services on 01709 835 214 or

The Catering and Hospitality students have also been busy cooking up hot meals and preparing food packages to support to local charity Rotherham Independent Volunteer Organisation (RIVO), who help people from all walks of life including the homeless and those who have recently fallen on hard times.

Rotherham College Level 1 Catering and Hospitality student Logan Jones was humbled to be part of the project.

Logan said: “Any way that a charity can be helped is incredibly important so those that need help can get it. Even if it’s something as small as a packed lunch, it can make such a difference to someone who isn’t able to afford it themselves. We’ve worked with RIVO to provide nice tasty meals to those who need them.”

RIVO’s Chair, Jessica Earnshaw said all the support they get is gratefully received.

Jessica said: “The support from the College has been absolutely incredible and the food has gone down very well.”

Search for Rotherham Independent Volunteer Organisation on Facebook to find out more.

Cycling to Support Hondurans

Rotherham College English student Marlon Perez and Dearne Valley College (also part of RNN Group) Learner Recruitment and Reception Officer Simon Beech and are aiming to raise a massive £10,000 for Hondurans whose lives have been affected by Hurricanes Eta and Iota. The floods have devastated the country’s food stocks and people are going hungry.

The determined pair, who became friends through College, are cycling the Trans Pennine Trail from Southport to Hornsea. The challenge will take five days to complete and the date will be confirmed once local tier restrictions allow them to begin. In the meantime, Marlon and Simon are looking at cycling the equivalent miles of the trail in their local areas.

The money raised help those affected by flooding including to Marlon’s church too, which acts as a local community centre and organises aid for the town.

To donate, visit the Facebook fundraiser set up by Perez and Simon.


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