Kind-hearted students at Sunderland College have donated hundreds of selection boxes to disadvantaged children across Wearside.
The college’s sixth form at Bede Campus holds regular collections for Sunderland Food Bank and, with the festive season fast approaching and the cost-of-living crisis hitting families hard, students have once again decided to give back to their local communities.
Setting a target of 100 selection boxes by mid-December, they have smashed their target with 272 donated so far. They expect to exceed 300 when they are delivered to the food bank this week.
Lucy Gettins, who is studying Law, Psychology and Criminology, said: “A selection box is something most children just expect to get on Christmas morning, and it would be such a shame for them to go without.”
Several of the students have part-time jobs and have been using their own wages to buy selection boxes, such as Erin Stewart, who works part-time as a bar tender in Port of Call while studying Chemistry, Psychology and Criminology.
She said: “I bought five selection boxes out of my wages. Everyone has got involved and I think this is a great cause.
“More people need a little bit of help now as the cost of everything has increased. Selection boxes symbolise Christmas and it would be sad to know children were waking up without one.”
Psychology, Criminology and Forensic Investigation student Bailey Stevenson, who works part time as a waiter in Aisiana Fusion Restaurant, added: “I also bought five selection boxes as I wanted to do something for the children who wouldn’t get one.
“I can imagine how I would have felt at their age on Christmas morning if I hadn’t got a selection box, but it is difficult for some people at the moment to afford these little extras.”
Sunderland College lecturer, Dan Gibson, said he had been “blown away” by the response of the students.
He said: “There has been an amazing response and we’ve had some students who brought in 10 selection boxes. I think they have been so engaged as it is an initiative to support young children. It has really pulled on their heart strings to think that some children could be going without this Christmas.”
On Friday December 7, the students and Dan will deliver the selection boxes to Sunderland Food Bank which will then be passed on to parents and carers.
Sunderland Food Bank manager Helen Moss said: “We very much appreciate the tremendous efforts of the students and tutors at Sunderland College, they’ve worked with us on a number of occasions now. Their contributions will go a long way in providing much needed support for those experiencing food poverty and insecurity this Christmas.
“Without such generous donations from the public, our food banks would not be able to meet the ever-increasing needs of the communities in Sunderland.”
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