College joins the British Legion

Stacey Luckhurst, Gary Harding, Craig Tinning, Stuart Wesselby, Jodie Hancock, Liz Starkey and Roslyn Hastie-Murray.

Stacey Luckhurst, Gary Harding, Craig Tinning, Stuart Wesselby, Jodie Hancock, Liz Starkey and Roslyn Hastie-Murray.

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A CEREMONY was held to celebrate the links between a college and the Royal British Legion.

Young people from East Durham College’s vTalent volunteers project took part in a ceremony to mark the Poppy Appeal.

At the presentation, the Peterlee college received a certificate to confirm an Agreement of Affiliation between East Durham College and Peterlee Royal British Legion Branch.

It was presented to the students and Robert Sherwin, chairman of the Peterlee branch, by Don Rutherford, chairman of the Royal British Legion Northumbria.

During the event in Newcastle, all youth groups who had assisted with the 2010 Poppy Appeal were also presented with a certificate and East Durham College was delighted to receive the third place certificate of achievement for raising £516.60.

Liz Starkey, volunteer co-ordinator at the college, said: “The vTalent volunteers played a major role in promoting the Poppy Appeal throughout the college. Their aim was to get every student to donate and wear a poppy as well as to raise awareness of the tremendous work of the Royal British Legion.

“The success of the appeal was evident by the massive amount of students who attended the two-minute silence in the atrium at the Peterlee Campus and in the remembrance garden at the Houghall Campus.

“I’m very proud of the achievements of the volunteers.”

The vTalent year project is a £10.5million national full-time volunteering programme for young people, which aims to provide effective pathways into work and education for volunteers.

Jody Hancock, 19, from Shotton Colliery, is one of the vTalent students and plans to volunteer at an orphanage in South Africa over the summer before going to university in September.

She said: “I am really proud of what the volunteers have achieved. When I first started volunteering at the college I had no idea of the personal rewards that volunteering could bring. I now feel very proud of my time at the college and my achievements. Attending the presentation was amazing.”

Roslyn Hastie-Murray, a member of the Peterlee Royal British Legion who also works at the college, said: “The vTalent team has set the standard for the Poppy Appeal collection at East Durham College.

“I hope the students will continue the work and aim to beat the previous year’s figure. I’m very proud to have the college affiliated to the Royal British Legion.”