College does it by the book to support charity

On Give and Gain Day (Friday May 17), the Gateshead College volunteers joined in a sponsored read-a-thon, taking it in turns to bring stories to life for youngsters at Bede Community Primary School in Gateshead.

Funds raised will be split between the school, to buy books and reading materials for pupils, and the Gateshead College Foundation.

The Foundation was set up by the College to support people who might not otherwise be able to afford to come to college. The money covers costs such as course fees, travel and help with equipment or kit that might be needed.

‘Give and Gain Day’ is the only national day for employee volunteering, providing companies and organisations the opportunity to bring community action to life since it began in 2008.

College employees used the college’s ‘One Day’ community volunteering programme to take part in Give and Gain Day. The One Day scheme was established by Gateshead College last year to allow employees to be able to take time out of their day to day duties to give something back to the communities which it serves.

Rachel Norman, fundraising officer, from the Gateshead College Foundation said: “Our staff and students care a great deal about our local community and recognise that the college has a vital role to play. Volunteering days like this provide us with an ideal opportunity to give something back. It also gives us the chance to raise awareness of our Foundation, which one day might support some of the pupils we’ve met today and enable them to continue their education.”

Christine Colquhoun, teacher at Bede Community Primary School said: “We are extremely grateful to the staff and students for coming in to read to our pupils.

“The day was a great success; we want the children to understand that reading isn’t just something you do in school. It’s a skill they should be practicing every day. They’ll use it in whatever profession they enter and it can also provide hours of entertainment.”

Last year’s ‘Give and Gain Day’ supported 339 community groups and schools, making an impact on over 100,000 lives and providing the equivalent of over a million pounds  worth of support to those that need it most.