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SERC students win Community Engagement Award at gala dinner

SERC students from Level 1 and Level 2 Retail and Catering were challenged with managing the Action Cancer Lisburn Boutique in September as part of the Action Cancer Shop Challenge with all proceeds going to Action Cancer.

To celebrate the success, a gala dinner was held at Crowne Plaza, Shaw’s Bridge on Friday and hardworking SERC students got their hands on the Community Engagement Award.

Competing against SERC students were stores such as Marks and Spencer, the Post Office, Youth Justice and PKF FPM. Students were tasked with planning and managing the store and they raised money through selling baby clothes, selling raffle tickets and even collaborating with Lisburn's 98FM to raise money through radio requests.

Award winning hip-hop dancer Annie Baggley, a Level 1 Hairdressing trainee, provided entertainment to attract people to the cause throughout the day, while Training for Success Construction trainees designed a clothes line and recipes were provided by Danny Miller of Parsons Nose, Hillsborough and Muddlers Restaurant to help the students in their quest. The event has enabled trainees to develop real work skills which included cash handling, customer service and team work which will all be useful as they pursue a career after their Retail and Catering course at SERC.

Training Head of School, Barbara McNeill said, “This has been an incredible opportunity for the trainees to engage with each other and develop real transferable skills to improve their employability. The event has been a tremendous success and feedback from students has been positive.”

Barbara thanked store manager Amy Breton for allowing trainees to take over the store and went on to give thanks to the local businesses for their support and providing prizes. They consisted of Shannon’s Jewellery, Greens, Fit for Less, Snappy Snaps, Glasshouse Coffee Shop and Jeffers Home Bakery.

The Linen Room Restaurant and Revive Hair and Beauty Salons who are based at SERC also donated vouchers for the event. Barclay Communications generously sponsored The Big Shop Challenge event.

The tireless students raised an astonishing £1226.51, while Trainees Kyle Walker and Hannah Martin were presented with the Community Engagement Award at a Gala Dinner by Jim Eastwood who was a finalist in the 2011 series of the Apprentice. Action Cancer benefited from £70,000 being raised from everyone who participated at each store on the day.

SERC provides a range of full and part-time courses designed to give students’ the edge’. To find out how SERC can help you ‘get the edge’ call 0345 600 7555, visit www.serc.ac.uk or find us on Facebook, search: South Eastern Regional College.

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