TCAT students serve up a double dose of Christmas cheer


From left, Joseph Comery, Telford Crisis Support Manager John Ironmonger, Annabelle Taylor, Aaron Davis, Liam Easter and Daniel Blasczyk

Students from Telford College of Arts and Technology have served up a double dose of Christmas cheer by donating food and gifts to two separate charities.

The college has collected gifts, toys, food and toiletries in two separate appeals providing presents and meals for the needy – one for Christmas Smile, and the other for Telford Crisis Support.

Kate Phillips, co-founder of Christmas Smile, visited the TCAT campus to collect a huge pile of toys and gifts donated by students and staff.

She said: “I can’t thank everyone enough for their kind generosity. All these items will be going to a great cause.”


Kate Phillips, co-founder of Christmas Smile, with Aaron Davis

Christmas Smile was founded in 2013 to provide gifts to local children and families living in difficult circumstances. It is based at the Business Development Centre in Stafford Park, Telford.

The Christmas Smile collection was co-ordinated by health and social care student Aaron Davis, who is also on the TCAT student council.

Daniel Blasczyk Enrichment Facilitator at TCAT, said: “Aaron spent hours putting up posters around college. He also made a fantastic social media campaign – he is a great role model for other students, always doing things for the local community.

“Staff and students donated all kinds of toys and gifts, including a toy castle and train set, tents, cuddly toys. Everyone has really pulled together in the college to donate – it’s been great to see.”

TCAT has also been collecting toiletries and tinned food to the Telford Crisis Support since the start of November, and manager John Ironmonger came in to collect them.

Public services students have been working with the National Citizen Service to raise donations, and the college’s student council also launched a ‘Tins for TCAT’ campaign which gained momentum, with various courses starting a collection for the food bank.

Joseph Comery, a level three public services student, said: “I’m delighted at the amount of items people have donated, and I’m glad to see the Christmas spirit has reached everyone.”

Daniel Blasczyk added: “It’s been a fantastic to see staff and students pulling together to donate items to the food bank.

“The students have worked extremely hard. Everyone deserves to have a meal on Christmas day, and it’s brilliant to see students giving something back to our local community.”

John Ironmonger said “I would like to thank the students and everyone who’s been involved. The social media campaign that Dan and TCAT have run has seen our donations triple this year.”

About Association of Colleges West Midlands

AoC West Midlands promotes and supports the interests of 38 general further education, sixth form and specialist colleges throughout the West Midlands region. The West Midlands is a diverse region and our colleges reflect this diversity. From small specialist colleges in rural locations to large inner city establishments, colleges reflect the needs of their local environment. Working closely with employers, learners and the local community, our 38 member colleges offer a broad range of flexible learning opportunities for individuals at all levels. They aim to give local people the skills they need for success and prosperity, tackling barriers to learning and providing opportunities that meet the needs of individuals and employers
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