Witney students launch #100coats to help the homeless in Oxfordshire

    Level 2 Business students based at Abingdon & Witney College’s Witney campus have a launched a project, ‘#100coats’, to help deliver 100 coats and jackets to those in need within the local community this winter.

    The students, who are currently studying a ‘Building Successful Business Teams’ module on their course, brainstormed different ideas for their project before deciding to support a charitable cause, specifically those who are helping to tackle homelessness.

    After creating their key messages, visuals and communication channels to spread the word as far as they can, they are now aiming to get at least 100 donations of men’s winter coats or jackets in clean and in good condition by the 13th December. The reason for choosing men’s clothing is that, statistically, they are in much more demand – 80% homeless men versus 20% for homeless women.

    The students are also asking donors to attach a luggage tag to the clothes, in order to deliver a kind message to the unknown recipient.

    They will be working with the Oxford Homeless Pathways (OxHoP) charity to help distribute the clothing, whilst local business suppliers Aston & James will be sponsoring the campaign by acting as a storing and collection point for OxHoP. Darren Aston, Managing Director at Aston & James, said “it was an easy decision to support Oxfordshire’s homeless at a very difficult and challenging time of the year” and that the team were “delighted to be included as a supporter to the students of Abingdon & Witney College’s #100coats campaign”.

    Tracey Lee, the Business lecturer at the College who is helping to oversee the project, said: “It’s really important for our Business students to gain real-life practical and employability experience to support their academic studies. I’m incredibly proud of their commitment to #100coats campaign which will help keep local homeless people warmer this winter.”

    Already, the students have had support come in from local organisations, including three schools. Julie Hunter, Deputy Headteacher: Culture and Wellbeing at the Aureus School in Didcot, said: “Aureus School students are supporting the #100coats campaign as we have embarked on a 14-week long acts of kindness challenge. We feel that at this time of year in particular it is important to be kind to our local community. We are hopeful that we will be able to help this enterprising task.”

    For anyone interested in donating, Aston & James is willing to collect sizeable clothing donations. For smaller clothing donations (1-10 items of clothing), you can either drop them off at their office premises in Witney or at Abingdon and Witney College, Witney campus OX28 6NE (clearly marked #100coats TOBES staff room), Mon-Fri, 9am – 5pm.

    (November 2017)

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