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The Corporation

Posted: 22/06/12

Students exceed charity challenge

Three Mansfield-based charities for the homeless have benefitted from the kindness of staff and students at West Notts College this week.

Over 2,000 shopping basket items were collected during May and June by staff and students in what has been called the ‘554 Challenge’. 

The initiative was the idea of Trudi Dean, who delivered factual tutorials to every group across the school of academic studies, public services and sports studies and championed the project throughout.

The aim was to fill five shopping trolleys with food and provisions which homeless people in the local community would be able to benefit from at The Halls Homeless Project, The Salvation Army and The Beacon Project. 

The challenge, which is now in its second year, represents 5 teams, 5 trolleys, 4 the homeless, was devised by the college’s school of academic studies, public services and sports studies and saw virtually every area of the college contribute something.

This year the challenge was exceeded with food and toiletries spilling over into eight shopping trolleys.

Today, chairman, Tony Lee together with Karen Rollings and Steve Riley, from the Halls Homeless Project, based on Westfield Lane and Mary Lane from The Beacon Project, which operates from St John’s Church Hall, visited the college’s Derby Road campus to collect the kind donations.

Mansfield’s Salvation Army will also be collecting a number of food parcels from the college at the end of the week.

Trudi Dean said: “I’m absolutely amazed at the number of donations to the challenge.  This year so many areas of the college contributed to helping the homeless and we’ve ended up with eight trolleys full of food and provisions. Thank you to everyone who took part.

“Our chosen charities will be able to restock their supplies for the much needed food packages and meals they provide to homeless people who visit the centres in Mansfield.”

The 554 Challenge was supported by Tesco (Mansfield and Oak Tree), and Sainsburys (Mansfield), who donated provisions towards the challenge, and Tesco (Oak Tree Lane) who kindly loaned the trolleys and donated provisions. 

Public services student Jodie Osborne said: “I think the 554 challenge is a great initiative, as it makes us more aware of issues affecting people in our local community and allows us to help in a really direct way.”