Thousands of students from Canterbury College took part in a special community day last Wednesday (Feb 8) helping scores of charities through a range of fun and rewarding activities linked to their courses.

The event proved a huge success with health and beauty, catering and business students providing a lunch and manicure to members of Age UK and budding engineers helping to landscape a pond area for community group, SHout.

Public services students and staff fundraised for homeless charity, Porchlight, through a sponsored bike ride and supported learning students took part in a clothes and food donation drop.

Media students staged an innovative Question Time-style debate to create a promotional DVD for homeless charities, Catching Lives and Porchlight. The interview included representatives from the organisations and was hosted by journalism student, Scott Banks.

James Duff, Helping Hands trustee, said: "I felt the debate went well. The questions that were asked were considered and gave us all the opportunity to add something. I very much enjoyed being on the panel and was pleased that so many people turned out to come and see the debate being filmed. I would happily do this again, the whole experience was fun."

Matt Witts, Porchlight support worker, said: “Homelessness is a growing problem, and one that doesn’t look like changing any time soon. It’s why the support of Canterbury College is important - their students could soon be helping us to help people who are homeless and vulnerable. “Being able to talk openly and honestly about this means they’ll be prepared to take on that challenge. We’re grateful to the college for helping highlight this important issue and hope to continue working with them.”

Leasa Merrill, media lecturer and event co-ordinator, said: “It was a great success, the students worked professionally bringing together a live debate on the emotive yet profound issue of homelessness. The debate gave the audience the opportunity to engage in the discussion and hear from the experts. It was brilliant for the students to create a promotional DVD to benefit the two charities Catching Lives and Porchlight."