Generous students and staff from Reaseheath College and University Centre pulled together to help local people in need over the festive period.

All departments were involved in collecting non perishable food, household items, toiletries and festive treats to make up a bumper delivery for Nantwich Foodbank. The Foodbank, which was set up in 2013 by The Trussell Trust in response to food poverty, has seen a massive increase in requests for food parcels over the past year throughout its national network.

Reaseheath’s contributions were processed by Nantwich Foodbank and handed over to those identified by agencies as being in need.

Manager Damien Gear emphasised: ““We have worked with Reaseheath for a number of years and are very grateful for the college’s involvement. This year we have supported over 2,146 individuals, nearly 40% of whom were children. In addition to this we also issued 298 Christmas parcels which supported 509 people.

“We now need more fantastic contributions like the one we received from the students and staff, not just over the festive period but throughout the year.

“As a society we are facing further economic challenges in the coming winter months, such as rising fuel costs, the reduction of the Universal Credit uplift, and the end of furlough. As a result, those members of our community whom we support, many of whom are children, will experience greater hardship.”

Animal Management Programme Leader Andy Smith, who organised the college-wide effort jointly with Quality and Standards Coach Emily Jewell, said: “We encourage our students to engage with their local community as part of their course and we have supported Nantwich Foodbank since it was launched.

“This year we had a fantastic response, which was close to rivalling last year’s record collection. Students and staff from the college and university centre have been incredibly generous and contributions exceeded all expectations.

“Foodbanks are under tremendous pressure and the need in the community is great. Our students really took the initiative to heart. As well as supporting a good cause they have come to realise that there are many people, including some of their own age, who are worse off than themselves. And there may well be students here at Reaseheath whose families have or will receive support from foodbanks.”

Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma in Animal Management student Meg Delo said: “This is the third year that our student group has supported Nantwich Food Bank. We have encouraged each other to take part and the whole class has brought in donations.

“This year has been more rewarding because we now have more understanding about the challenges faced by some families within our community.”

Reaseheath’s Wellbeing team has just launched a college based food bank of non perishable items which is accessible to students and staff. Reaseheath is a referral partner for Nantwich Food Bank and will continue to refer clients to the charity when appropriate.