Writing postcards for care home residents, celebrating the role of animals in war and taking part in a virtual global tea party have been some of the good deeds carried out by Level 3 Diploma in Animal Management students as part of their ‘Classroom Kindness’ Challenge.

Even throughout lockdown our first year Level 3 Diploma students have continued to help others through monthly events which have raised nearly £800 for our RAG charity Make-A-Wish UK and other appeals. They have also joined fellow students within the department and across college in brightening the day for many members of our local community through their thoughtful messages and actions.

One initiative in the past academic year involved writing postcards describing life at a college with a zoo and animals and sending them to residents in care homes across the North West. The students came up with this idea in response to Your Health Limited’s campaign to combat loneliness and isolation across the country, and made sure Barony Lodge Residential Care in Nantwich was included. Advanced Practitioner Holly Hardy Johnson, who leads the Classroom Kindness Challenge, and Course Manager Lucy Cosgriff delivered the postcards in person. The students followed this up by sending Christmas cards to care home residents.

Other projects have included co-ordinating and processing a cross college charity shoe box appeal, collecting food and toys for the RSPCA cattery in Nantwich and for the Dogs Trust in Shrewsbury, raising funds for animals affected by Australian wild fires and joining a world record attempt to hold the biggest virtual tea party for Guide Dogs for the Blind.

The students have also enjoyed a sponsored dressing up day for Halloween, wearing red at college to mark National Heart Awareness and sharing selfies of themselves and their pets dressed in purple for World Epileptic Day.

For their final challenge of the academic year, the students organised a Kindness Quiz which fellow learners and staff could enjoy at home with their families for a small donation.

Already our current first year cohort has taken up the banner and carried out their first good deed of this academic year. Staying within their three groups, they wore blue in college to celebrate the life-changing wishes granted by Make-A-Wish UK to children with critical illnesses. (Pictured above and below).

Next month they will be running an awareness campaign highlighting the negative effects which irresponsible disposal of disposable masks can have on wildlife and their environment.

Holly Hardy-Johnson said: “We are using the ‘Classroom Kindness’ Challenge to give a positive message that wishes can still come true despite Covid-19 and are joining with other students in the department to add to Reaseheath’s RAG fundraising.

“We are also encouraging students to learn about other global issues and to understand how they themselves can make a difference.”