Foundation students learning skills for life, work, literacy and numeracy, are completing another successful year of volunteering and charity collections with the Hillingdon Foodbank.

For the past three years, the students have been collecting donations to the foodbank from college students and staff - food and drink items such as squash and biscuits, but also other basics like toilet roll and shower gel - and working with the charity to help distribute items to families in need.

They also learned more about the charity from volunteer Joash, who came into college to talk about his role, which he does in addition to his day job. He explained how working as a volunteer has helped him expand his general knowledge and skills, and given him the opportunity to network with others.

Organiser Amar Phagura, Employment Coach Foundation Studies at Uxbridge College, said: “We only started collecting in March this year due to lockdown and it’s been a huge success - I’ve dropped off five collections and the boot of my car and the back seats were full. This is a wonderful project for the students to learn a range of practical skills, as well as more about what’s going on in their communities, and how little things like donating a tin of beans can make a big difference. It has been such a success we plan to keep going next year as well.”

The students have collected items worth around £400 this year, and Uxbridge College’s Hair and Beauty team - based in Distinction Hair & Beauty salons at Hayes campus - donated £100 won by a member of staff in the Staff Star awards. The donation meant 85 essential food items could be purchased.

The foodbank works by a voucher referral system where organisations such as Social Services allocate vouchers to those who need it. Hillingdon Foodbank, based on Oxford Road, Denham, is supported by the Trussell Trust. It also had collection points at various supermarkets.

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