Barnsley College students participated in a trio of workshops as guest speakers virtually visited the College as part of Charity Week, an initiative to raise awareness of local charities.
The students first heard from Richard Gettings, Gareth Stanton and Andy Cunnington, Directors of The Daparian Foundation. The foundation specialises in promoting awareness of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) within the diagnosed veteran and emergency services communities. They are a voice for diagnosed communities and research PTSD from an inside-out perspective which allows them to gain the vantage point of the sufferers themselves.
They spoke to students about the history of PTSD and how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected those who are diagnosed with the disorder. Their session also covered aspects of prejudice and reminded students that it is important not to judge an individual on how they look, as someone’s appearance will tell them very little about their mental health.
Students also heard from Laura Lawton, a fundraiser for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA). Laura told students how donated money is used within the organisation from new helicopters to high-specification medical equipment and personal protective equipment.
Laura said: “Weeks like the Barnsley College Charity Week are vitally important to charities, especially in a year like this, where we haven’t been able to get out into the community as much as we usually do. It’s incredibly valuable to have the opportunity to talk to students about the variety of charities out there. I hope it helped to raise awareness of YAA and that it provided an informative look on how we save lives across Yorkshire.”
Yasmin Winder, Volunteer Co-ordinator at Barnsley Community and Voluntary Services (CVS) was the College’s final guest speaker. Yasmin informed students of the work that Barnsley CVS carry out and explained her role as a volunteer co-ordinator, a role that encompasses managing the profile of volunteering and helping organisations to develop exciting volunteering opportunities.
The students found out more about the benefits of volunteering, specifically when it comes to applying to study Higher Education as well as the rights that they would have if they chose to work as a volunteer.
Lee Perks, Enrichment and Talent United Officer at Barnsley College, was responsible for facilitating the week’s events and added: “Charity Week is extremely important to us at Barnsley College and we wanted to ensure that our students had the best opportunity to find out about the amazing work that charities complete all year round to improve our way of life, often with little thanks.
“The opportunity to deliver a programme of events for Charity Week is a real privilege for me and I hope that our students were able to understand and appreciate the amazing effort that goes into keeping charities running throughout the year.”
Barnsley College is committed to being actively involved in the social and cultural development of our community raising aspirations and driving social mobility.