Stepping out to raise money for the Charlie Cookson Foundation
Students at South Tyneside College have stepped out to show support for a children's charity.
The learners, who study at Interface - a department for young people on the autism spectrum - made a round trip of around two miles in a fundraising mission for the Charlie Cookson Foundation.
The foundation provides financial support to parents of seriously ill children who require round-the-clock nursing care or specialist nursing facilities due to life limiting conditions.
It was founded by Sarah and Christopher Cookson, from South Tyneside, following the death of their two-year-old son Charlie in October 2013.
Six learners, as well as lecturers, walked from the college’s Westoe campus in St Georges Avenue, South Shields, to the foundation’s fundraising shop at the town’s Denmark Centre.
Along with other support events, the students raised £140.
Rachael Pippin, a lecturer from Interface, said: “Once at the shop, the students enjoyed meeting staff and had a good delve around while also finding out a bit more about the foundation’s work.
“It is good that they wanted to support the foundation’s work by taking part in this activity.”
Joanne Nicholson, the foundation’s fundraising and events manager, added: “I’m delighted that the students wanted to show their support for our work in this way.
“The college is not too far from our shop, yet it still took effort and determination to organise the walk and follow it through with action.
“As a charity, it is important to us that we are able to carry our fundraising and support message into the community where we are based.
“Alongside the walk, our team enjoyed going into the college to meet the students to also find out something about them.”
The partnership was suggested by college learning support assistant Claire Brennan, a foundation volunteer.
She arranged for students to hear a talk at the college from the foundation’s team about its work.
The foundation’s fundraising initiatives also fit in with the community action element of students’ college programme, which sees them take part in activities outside the classroom.
In this case, they also donated clothes to the charity.
Interface is a unique model of support in the North East for learners on the autism spectrum to access mainstream Further Education.
Part of strong Additional Learning Support offered at South Tyneside College, which is part of the new Tyne Coast College.