Students from Canterbury College gave up a day of their studies to learn how Demelza helps families facing the loss of a child.
Students from the college’s Media and Communication department decided they would pitch in and help raise some cash for Demelza – as well as awareness of the charity – when they took to the streets of the city with a bucket collection.
On the same day, others volunteered their services in 10 of our charity shops, while others worked in the warehouse, sorting clothes, toys and other donated goods.
More than 100 students were involved in the project, on Wednesday, February 8.
Demelza’s Shops Operations Manager Rachel Stead said: “Volunteers play a key role in the life of Demelza. Without them, we simply couldn’t function and we are always pleased to have a spare pair of hands on board – so 100 pairs for the day were fantastic!
“Our shop managers were nothing but complimentary of the students’ hard work and commitment to helping make the day such a success and several students have asked to register as volunteers. I couldn’t be prouder of our team in trading and of our positive relationship with Canterbury College and the students who absolutely gave their all to support Demelza.”
This is the fourth year the college has supported Demelza on the College Community Day and head of the department Zoran Tesic said: “It’s a great way to help raise funds for Demelza whilst teaching the students some important ‘people’ skills. They learn about teamwork, the value of charitable giving whilst giving them a glimpse of the difficulties some families face."
Digital Design and Games Development students from Canterbury College Media and Communication department have been involved in collaborating with Demelza for the last three years raising almost £8,000 through Games Tournaments. This year, a new event – a Digital Expo - will help not only raise awareness of Demelza but also celebrate the students’ work.
Community fundraiser Leila Ilkhan said: “We are very grateful to the college and all the students who took part. This was a great team effort. If any other schools or colleges would like to follow their example, we’d love to hear from them!”
Demelza's website has been voted the Champion of Champions in the 2017 Digital Awards.
The site was voted the best in Kent in the schools, education and charity sector in June 2016, automatically qualifying for the Grand Final against other winners in the region.
Demelza was one of 15 category award winners selected by public vote and one of only three awarded to Kent-based businesses at a ceremony held at the British Film Institute, on London's Southbank, on February 9.
We fought off stiff competition from five other contenders, including Alzheimer’s Research UK, Havering College and Bishop’s Stortford College, to scoop the Champions Award, introduced for the first time this year.
Other finalists came from Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Surrey and Milton Keynes.
The website - launched just over a year ago - was designed by Ipswich-based Itineris Ltd. with a focus on striking imagery and videos, using the banner of #ItsAboutLife
Families who use our services, as well as staff and volunteers, all helped with the concept.
Tessa Paton, Head of Marketing, said: “We wanted to dispel the myth that children’s hospice care is consumed with sadness, so our aim was to produce a vibrant, eye-catching site which captured what Demelza is all about – life. We have allowed the emotive images of our children and our care to do the talking and are absolutely delighted that we have received recognition with both of these awards – first in Kent award and now across the six regions.”