Students at the West Suffolk College help the homeless in the town with ‘blessing bags’

A team from the Prince’s Trust at West Suffolk College have helped the homeless by buying and equipping “blessing bags” which they handed out in Bury St Edmunds.

The group in Team 33 held a cake sale, raffle, a bucket collection at Aldi and collected some sponsorship in order to raise more than £435 for their community project.

They visited Tayfen House to find out what they do and what homeless people would appreciate in their specially created bags. Then they purchased more than 20 bags and filled them with food, hats, scarves, clothes and sanitary products, plus an inspirational message from members of the group. Leftover money was used to buy some kitchen items for Tayfen House.

Once the bags were complete they handed them out to people in the town who needed them most.

Prince’s Trust team leader Jade Morton said: “It has been a truly eye opening experience to watch the enthusiasm in the young people; they have worked tirelessly to fundraise and put together ‘blessing bags’ for those in need. This project has really developed the students understanding of homelessness. The support of the local community within Bury St Edmunds has been remarkable and I couldn’t be prouder of what the group have achieved in these past few weeks.”

Team 33 member Siany Brooks, aged 17, said: “It felt amazing to be able to change someone’s life, even if it is just for a couple of days. To see a smile on their face and to know that it was just from one small gesture provided by a group of students really filled me with a sense of pride and achievement.’

A thank you letter from one of the night shelter workers to the students said: “Sincere thanks to the wonderful students from West Suffolk College who made the donations of the gift bags today. Although all donations are always very much appreciated, it felt like these were a little more appreciated than usual due to the personal nature of them and the lovely message with was sent too. As the students had wished for, each bag was met with, not only a smile, but all round big grins. It really was a lovely gesture.”

Rebecca Lee, Tayfen project manager added “The kitchen and cooking utensils are going to be invaluable to us here at Tayfen House and it will be amazing to be able to provide new residents with the basics they need to get set up.”

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