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Computing students have launched their annual Christmas fundraising project with an ambitious target.

Each November the Level 1 Computing students raise funds by hand-making cards, and donate the money to Tadworth-based charity The Children’s Trust.

This year the team is hoping to raise £750, and will also sell sweets and hold a raffle for a festive hamper.

“The students really enjoy this project every year, and they gain so much from doing it,” said Computing tutor Denise Portman, who runs the task.

“It gives the students a genuine real-life scenario in which they need to use the computer skills they’ve learnt in their first half-term, like using a spreadsheet to do calculations.

“It also helps them practice skills like teamwork, communication and attention to detail, and it helps them find talents they might not have known they had, like skills in sales, logistics or creative thinking.”

The students did market research to identify their customers, and used the data to plan their products, create a pricing strategy, set a fundraising target and work out how to promote the project.

They researched the charity extensively, and then prepared a presentation about their project and pitched to potential investors to ask for financial backing in order to buy their supplies.

This year, as well as aiming for the highest-ever fundraising total, the students have decided to focus on sustainability, making sure their cards are made from reused or recyclable materials.

“It was evident from the students’ presentation how much they’ve already learnt, and how much they’re enjoying the project,” said Adam Beral, Director of Professional and Service Industries.

“I was impressed to see committed they are to supporting The Children’s Trust, and glad to see how they’re considering the environmental impact of their products.”

The students are planning to sell the cards at the college open evening on November 20, and around the college on November 25 and 26.

The Children’s Trust supports young people with brain injury. It provides expert nursing care and rehabilitation, as well as supporting families and working in research and policy development.

During their research the students watched lots of case study videos and said they had been struck by how suddenly brain injury could happen, and how much it can affect young people and their families.

Last year, Level 1 Computing students raised more than £700 for the charity in just three weeks through sales of their hand-made Christmas cards, sweets and raffle tickets.