Students and staff from Reaseheath College and University Centre have been praised for continuing to raise funds for charity despite the challenges posed by Covid-19.

Members of the Nantwich college and university centre’s Student Association last week handed over a cheque for nearly £15,500 to children’s charity Make-A-Wish UK. The money was raised over a two year period spanning lockdown and was raised mainly through a variety of virtual activities which students completed at home.

Make-A-Wish UK is a children’s charity which helps to grant life-changing wishes to children with critical illnesses, and the money will help to make ten young people’s wishes come true.

The cheque was presented by Student Association members to long term Make-A-Wish UK volunteer Nikki Wrench, who continued to build on the partnership throughout the pandemic.

Nikki, who was herself the recipient of a wish while a child, said: “On behalf of everyone at Make-A-Wish UK I would like to thank the students and staff at Reaseheath who have raised these essential funds for us.

“When I started working with Reaseheath’s Raising and Giving (RAG) group I knew we were going to achieve fantastic things. I still cannot believe that such an amazing amount of money was raised, even though COVID-19 stopped so many fundraising activities.

“The money will help us to grant wishes to many children currently living with critical illnesses. I know first hand just how much a wish positively impacts a child and their family, and everyone at Reaseheath should be proud to know that they will be contributing to approximately 10 wishes, which is truly fantastic.”

The students’ lockdown challenges included Student Association members covering more than the distance between Lands’ End and John O’Groats (874 miles /1,407 km) in a week by walking around their local parks. Construction students and staff raised over £1,000 for RAG by making and selling garden planters while agriculture student Luke Holmes raised £275 by completing his first ever sky dive.

This year students enjoyed a fundraising raft race on the college lake as a replacement for their summer ball and RAG and Community Engagement Chair Aimee Webb and fellow Student Association members Aidan Connolly, Megan Raby and Ross Fuller ran a half marathon in London, raising £1,500.

Aimee said: “It has been amazing to finally wrap up this two years of fundraising. Working with Make-A-Wish UK has allowed us to help children who are most in need, and fundraising through exciting events has made this achievement even better! On behalf of myself, our principal, staff and students, I would like to say how delighted we are to be handing over this great sum of money.”

Reaseheath Principal Marcus Clinton added: “We are very proud of our students. It says a lot about their many admirable qualities that they have continued to fund raise despite all the challenges and interruptions they have faced over the last two academic years.

“Make-A-Wish UK is a wonderful charity and it’s a lovely thought that through our students’ positive endeavours and resilience they can help bring joy into young peoples’ lives when they need it most. Our students exemplify our college’s PRIDE values and I would like to say a huge ‘well done’ to them all.”

Reaseheath’s Student Association has named local charities Hope House Children’s Hospices and Body Positive as their nominated RAG partners for this academic year.