STUDENTS are harnessing a host of new skills to help them prepare for the world of work and boost the coffers of a local charity.
Next Steps students at Darlington College have been honing their entrepreneurial talents by making a variety of crafts in the classroom which they then sell to the public in the town’s Cornmill Centre.
Every Friday happy customers are enjoying buying everything from plants, home-made cards and cakes, to coasters, headbands and decorative jars, in an enterprise initiative designed to make them even more employable.
Next Steps provides a supported learning programme for young people working towards post-16 qualifications and employment.
Darlington College Learning Support Assistant Alison York said: “The students have worked really hard in class making some fantastic products which the public definitely love to buy. They gain an Entry level 3 Certificate in Skills for Employment, Training and Personal Development or Level 1 Certificate in Developing Skills for Employment as well as invaluable experience interacting with customers.”
Proceeds go to buy materials and ten per cent of the profits will be donated to a local charity of the students’ choice.
Student Charlotte Walters, 18, of Darlington, said: “It has been brilliant. I have learnt how to make scrunchies and head bands, bows and greetings cards. I feel I have learnt a great deal and it is nice to make use of my new skills to help charity.”