Big Bid winners’ charity shop initiative is a real treasure that benefits students and the college - Cambridge Regional College
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Big Bid winners’ charity shop initiative is a real treasure that benefits students and the college


Students at Cambridge Regional College (CRC) took on the challenge when they entered the Big Bid which was launched to all study programme students following their induction. Four teams competed in the final with the Huntingdon based Supported Learning Business and Retail Group being crowned the winners for their ‘Second Chance Treasures’ entry.

Students were invited to create a product, concept or campaign to raise awareness and address some of the 21st century’s biggest challenges in relation to the environment and sustainability and make the college greener.

In November, entrants pitched their projects to a panel of judges in a shortlisting round, with the four strongest entrants going through to the Grand Final. Teams from Service Industries (Culinary Arts), Uniformed Protective Services, Business and Travel (Sports), Motor Vehicle and Technical Construction (Motor Vehicle), and the Supported Learning Business and Retail Group battled it out, with the latter emerging triumphant. The winners were presented with their certificates in February.

The panel of judges comprised CRC Governors Bradley Dorrington and Tim Arthur, and Corrin Hoyes, Deputy Principal Quality and Student Services.

Corrin Hoyes said, “There was very strong competition in this year’s Big Bid which made it a joy to judge. It’s great to see the students showcasing their developing knowledge and skills in their vocational subject areas and focusing on real world challenges.

Congratulations to everyone who took part. There could only be one winner and the Huntingdon Supported Learning team really impressed us with their charity shop initiative.”

Each finalist had a maximum of 15 minutes to deliver their pitch and the panel had the opportunity to ask questions before deciding on the winner.

The ‘Second Chance Treasures’ charity shop featured in the winning entry is run by students and benefits all students and the college. The shop provides work experience for students and helps them develop their English, maths and customer service skills.

The profits go towards providing support for students across the college, including food items, bedding, clothing, toiletries, and more. The Supported Learning Business and Retail Group team liaises with staff at CRC’s Huntingdon campus Hub to help support student needs.

The aim is to make ‘Second Chance Treasures’ as green and sustainable as possible. All stock is second hand items which have been donated and all bags used for donations are reused.

The Big Bid prize is £100. The Support Learning students plan to use the prize money to purchase extra fittings for the shop to help them expand.

College activities like the Big Bid help students develop confidence and relevant skills for a variety of work environments. CRC has some of the best facilities in the country which allows students to grow personally and professionally in an encouraging setting. With inspirational teachers, excellent courses and industry-standard workshops, studios, and salons, the college can support thousands of full-time students, adult learners, and apprentices currently in training.

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