City College students do their bit for Benjamin Foundation shoebox appeal

City College students Helen Gilding, 16, Bethany Blackburn, 16 and Arber Sela, 17 help to wrap gifts

City College students Helen Gilding, 16, Bethany Blackburn, 16 and Arber Sela, 17 help to wrap gifts at the Benjamin Foundation - Credit: Archant

Health and social-care students from the region have been putting the emphasis on care by helping a local charity with its Christmas appeal.

First-year students at City College Norwich gave up a morning this week to help city-based charity the Benjamin Foundation wrap up gifts for its annual shoebox appeal.

Each year, the foundation collects gifts and organises them into gender and age specific shoeboxes to be gifted to the many young people it helps across the region.

This year, it has been overwhelmed with the response it received, making organising the gifts an arduous, yet rewarding task, with the students doing their bit to lighten the load.

Claire Reynolds, director of corporate services for the Benjamin Foundation, said 'The students were a fantastic help, it's great to have extra pairs of hands.

'We've been very lucky this year; we've received lots of donations and are confident we can provide a gift for all of our residents.

'Lots of young people are estranged and this time of the year makes this more poignant, so a really big thank you to everybody who supported the campaign.'

Most Read

Amanda Sheehy, lecturer in heath and social care at City College, added, 'I love that our pupils have been given the chance to help in their community through volunteering with the Benjamin Foundation.

'Not only have they been working in the community, but they've been able to develop their confidence, teamwork and communication skills, which is something they don't get quite as much in the classroom.

'As part of their courses the students are required to take part in various work experience placements, and I knew that the Benjamin Foundation was looking for volunteers wrapping gifts, so we were more than happy to help.'

Jasmine Stanton, one of the students taking part in the volunteering, added: 'I particularly enjoyed the fact that we're getting to do things for other people.

'Not many people get the same support and help that we do, so appeals like this are very important, and helping it was definitely more fun than being in class!'

The deadline for the Benjamin Foundation's Shoebox Appeal has now passed; however, the appeal is set to return next year, having become an annual tradition for the charity.

Do you have a festive story for Local Life? Contact David Hannant on 01603 693892.