Supported Learning students from Southwark College developed business skills during the festive season by hosting a Christmas stall, selling handmade recycled Christmas Wreaths and Christmas accessories, raising up to £300 in funds for the St Johns’ Waterloo Charity.
The stall was hosted at St John's Waterloo church and Southwark College over the course of four weeks, with all proceeds donated to St John’s Waterloo Charity to support refugees within the local community.
The project required students to collaborate, collecting materials and old Christmas decorations to recycle and upcycle them, which led up to eight weeks' worth of preparation ahead of the first stall. Students participated in a range of tasks, including the creation of the items, advertising and event management, such as running the stall every week. The project also supported students in their modules, ‘Arts and Crafts’ and ‘Supporting Local Communities’, and gave them a chance to put their skills and their working knowledge of the business world to practice.
Maria–Mila Carbonere, Skills and Progression student, said: “I enjoyed working on this project as I have experience in volunteering. I felt confident, particularly with the business side and enjoyed the process of selling, keeping logs and then doing the last bit of financing to tally up profits.
“I believe I have been extremely organised during this project and it has been a great start to help me settle in and make new friends at the College.”
Jewell El–Daouk, Skills and Progression student, also said: “The project was a great way of getting to know my peers and learning about our strengths, working together as a team, and building on our creative skills. I enjoy doing arts and crafts in my spare time, making hats and gloves so this project has taught me a lot about starting a business.
“For me, the challenging part of the project was communication as this is something I need to build on. However, towards the end of running the stalls I felt more comfortable in speaking to customers. The project helped me tremendously in learning business skills and made Christmas more special as we were working hard to raise money for the charity.”
Southwark College offers Supported Learning courses to help people with Educational Health Care Plans and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities to gain more independence, improve their knowledge and get the guidance and encouragement they need to successfully move into work.
For more information, visit southwark.ac.uk/supported-learning