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Bolton College and University of Bolton students’ appeal helps two local charities

24 January 2020

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Kindhearted students from the University of Bolton Group have helped to make sure under-privileged Bolton children will have a Christmas to remember.

Students from the Access to HE Social Work Pathway course, and the Fast Track to Higher Education, appealed for new toys and stocking fillers, as well as nearly new clothes, which they have donated to two local domestic abuse charities, including Fortalice.

Bolton businesses, including We Love Deals, Boots, TK Maxx, The Entertainer and PS Meats, donated a variety of items after being approached by students over the past three weeks.

And delighted representatives from the two charities visited the university before Christmas to collect the gifts, presented to them by lecturers, students and, of course, Santa.

Laura O’Brien, Associate Lecturer in Psychology and Education at the university and Nicole Johnson, Lecturer in Humanities at the College, jointly organised the ‘Access Angels’ appeal and both said they had been delighted by the response from students.

Laura said: “Considering the short amount of time they had to speak to businesses and appeal for items, they have done amazingly well.

“The university and the college have a very close relationship with Fortalice in particular and this is our way of giving something back to them.”

Paula Pollitt, Team Leader at Fortalice, said she was “incredibly impressed” by the students’ gesture. She said: “I am blown away, especially when I found out that they have managed to collect all these goods in such a short space of time.

“The other thing that has really struck me is the amount of items that are perfect for babies. Sometimes people forget about the babies at Christmas and concentrate on the older children, but all these items like the toys and baby bouncers will really be appreciated.

“This will make a huge difference to the women at Fortalice, we are so grateful.”

The Access to HE Social Work Pathway course is offered by Bolton College and the Fast track to Higher Education pathway by the University of Bolton.

Bolton College and the University of Bolton run their programmes within the university environment as part of the University of Bolton Group.

Laura said: “The advantage of that is that the students are then going to move to a degree course at the university and having spent several months here already, they hit the ground running and do not find the move from college to university such a culture shock.

“Both these courses are a true collaboration and we are very proud of it and the students.”