Billingham Town FC offers support to students’ food bank effort

Billingham Town FC has been lending its support to students’ efforts to collect food for families who may be struggling this Christmas.

Young people at The Skills Academy regularly donate essential groceries to the Billingham & Stockton Borough Foodbank, as part of the college’s drive to help make a difference in their community.

Players and staff from the local football club were more than happy to show their support, gathering tinned goods to add to the collection.

The Skills Academy’s alternative provision manager, Tracey Laycock, said: “Being part of the community means a lot to us here at the academy. It is important for our students to realise the positive impact they can have on those around them.”

The college is part of the Good for Me Good for FE campaign, a national initiative encouraging people to support their local communities through a sustainable programme of community action.

Holding a wide range of activities and charity fundraisers throughout the year, Tracey explained: “As well as helping others, it gives our learners the chance to develop key skills such as teamwork, organisation, enterprise and planning.”

She explained that they also regularly tie in the activities with other academic skills, such as English and maths through the likes of letter writing and money management.

As a sponsor of Billingham Town FC, The Skills Academy already has strong links with the club and so, when dropping off the donations, club manager, Graeme Clark, and football development officer, Matty Gamble, stayed to give talks to the students about their own careers.

Graeme said: “It is important to us, as a football club, to serve our local community in the best way we can, representing the club and Billingham. When we saw what the students and staff at The Skills Academy were doing, it was an ideal opportunity to link up and help contribute food parcels, during what has been a difficult climate.”

Meeting with the young people, the club manager added: “It was great to engage with the students and talk, not just about careers, but about life skills and understanding that nothing in life is given to you. No matter who you are, if you want to get on, you have to commit, work hard and have the right attitude and application. The students seemed to respond well to that.”

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