Many Bath College students and their families have been adversely financially impacted by the pandemic, leading to stress, anxiety and difficulties affording food and essentials.
To help to tackle this, the college is working with Bath & North East Somerset’s Community Wellbeing Hub, or Compassionate Community Hub, to ensure that no young person goes without this Christmas time.
The hub, which is a collaboration between Bath & North East Somerset Council, Virgin Care and 3SG, was formed in March to provide a range of support to residents during the Coronavirus pandemic.
A ‘Community Chest’ has been set up at the college campuses in the centre of Bath and Radstock full of frozen meals that students can access for themselves and their families, no questions asked.
As well as the Community Chest, any learners who are in need of a Christmas care package filled with toiletries, food and some festive treats, which have been put together by donations from staff, will be available to collect from under the College Christmas tree on the last weeks of term.
Bath College Catering and Hospitality staff are also preparing pre-made Christmas dinners that students can collect on 23rd December from the City Centre Campus so that they can take them back to their families for Christmas Day to help those who may not be able to afford the day they would usually have. Students will just need to register how many they would like confidentially through the college.
Student volunteers are also working with the hub on the ‘Compassionate Christmas’ project, for which they will make phone calls to vulnerable people on Christmas day to help tackle loneliness.
Bath College’s Life and Independent Living Skills (LILS) students have also been decorating Christmas cards and tree decorations to send to people who have displayed five acts of Christmas kindness.
Laurel Penrose, Principal and Chief Executive of Bath College, said, “As a community College we have really pulled together to ensure that our students don’t go without at Christmas, and beyond. Thank you to the B&NES Compassionate Community Hub for their donations of food that are gratefully received. I am immensely proud of all who have made donations, volunteered their time and pitched in to look after one another.”