Communities given a helping hand

Ruth Peterson | December 8, 2021

Vulnerable communities will be offered a helping hand this festive season from Bradford College.

The Students’ Union, in conjunction with the Student Services department, has set up the Foodbank Challenge. It is now asking staff to help them collect more than 2,000 foodbank items to deliver to Bradford Central Foodbank before Christmas.

Head of Student Services Graham Bailey said: “The aftermath of the pandemic restrictions, and the subsequent withdrawal of furlough arrangements and Universal Credit enhancements, combined with rising food prices and energy bills, mean that large numbers of Bradford people will face extreme hardship this coming winter and into the New Year.

“To help combat this, Bradford College Students’ Union, in conjunction with Student Services, are setting the college a simple challenge. We would like to collect a minimum of 2,021 foodbank items between now and the end of term. Working in conjunction with Bradford Central Foodbank, we want to exceed this target before Christmas.”

Items to donate

They are now encouraging staff and student to collect around three items each for the Foodbank. Goods they are looking for include:

  • Cereals; Soup; Pasta; Rice; Tinned tomatoes; Pasta sauce; Lentils, beans and pulses; Tinned meat/fish; Tinned vegetables; Tea/coffee; Tinned fruit; Biscuits; UHT milk; Fruit juice;
  • At this time of the year Christmas celebration items are also especially welcomed – Christmas puddings, cakes, nuts, snacks, fancy biscuits; chocolate etc.
  • Items of toiletries are also very welcome: Toothpaste and toothbrushes; Soap; Shampoo; Shower Gel, Deodorants etc., as are new socks, hats and scarves.

The donated items will then be passed on to Bradford Central Foodbank to share across the city.

The Bradford Central Foodbank has helped thousands of people across the district who have found themselves in need. One user said: “The foodbank was there when we really needed it, it was an absolute lifeline.”

Other ways to lend a helping hand

Following the Christmas appeal, the food bank collection will then continue all year round. Cash donations to the food bank can be made by visiting

If anyone would like to donate clothing and toys, they can do so via the Sandale Trust. The charity is a community-based organisation which works directly with some of the most vulnerable in Bradford. Among other projects such as delivering food and medicine to isolated elderly people, the charity has also pledged to provide a winter coat to children in the area.

Bradford College is also supporting Cash For Kids Mission Christmas, a grant-giving charity helping the children that need it most across the UK.

Its mission is to improve the lives of disadvantaged children and young people who are affected by poverty, illness, neglect or have additional needs. The charity works closely with social workers, head teachers and emergency services. They nominate families in crisis to be supported by the appeal. It is the largest annual Christmas toy appeal in the UK.

Good for Me, Good for FE

The activity is part of Bradford College’s commitment to the ‘Good for Me, Good for FE’ national initiative. This aims to inspire students and staff to lend a helping hand and support local communities.

Bradford College is among more than 100 colleges to have joined Good for Me, Good for FE campaign since it launched in June.

The campaign aims to:

  • raise £1 million in “social value” through staff and student volunteering
  • help fill foodbanks
  • and build partnerships with charities and companies

​​​​​​​The college’s involvement in the campaign is led by Student Services, working with departments to generate ideas and support their involvement.

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