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Students support Blackpool charity with pop-up food bank

Published on 24/02/2022 by SGLAS


Image removed.Students from Fleetwood Nautical Campus, who were tasked with developing and implementing a social action project as part of their programme of personal development, have been able to make a significant contribution to local charity Blackpool’s Voice. The group who are mainly aged between 16 -18 decided to focus their campaign on helping to alleviate food poverty by encouraging fellow students and staff to donate items to a pop-up food bank at the Campus.

Inspired by the high-profile activities of celebrities like Marcus Rashford, the cadets got in touch with Blackpool’s Voice and established that one of the best ways they could support the local community was to assist with the charity’s emergency food programme designed for people who are struggling to put food on the table.

The students couldn’t simply raid their own kitchen cupboards to supply the project but had to drum up support by presenting their cause in classrooms and staffrooms across Campus.

Allan Cook, Student Enhancement Co-ordinator for Maritime Operations at B&FC, says of the project:

“Having introduced them to the idea of social action, the cadets really embraced the challenge. They decided what the focus of their campaign was going to be, found a charity who could benefit from their activities and then set about managing the project themselves.

“Whilst activities like this might not directly related to the maritime courses they are studying, they are vital in helping to build a range of skills such as initiative, confidence and resilience which will be invaluable in whatever they decide to do but which can’t always be picked up in the classroom.”

“Even though presenting to our tutors was daunting, it was actually more of a challenge presenting to our fellow students”, says one of the group. “No one wants to make a fool of themselves in front of their friends, so we really had to be confident. It’s easy to get people to agree that what you’re doing is a good thing. It’s much harder to motivate someone to remember to bring an item in for the food bank so we were all really pleased with how well the project went. The best bit though was handing over all our donations to the charity and knowing that what we’d done was really going to help someone.”

The project was so successful that Allan sees this becoming a regular part of the programme of enrichment that he delivers at the Nautical Campus:

“These direct entry cadets are competing for sponsorship from shipping companies so any activity that makes them stand out from the crowd is going to underline their commitment to making the most of all the opportunities on offer to them. I can see this going from strength to strength.”