Trainee teachers in Lancashire turn their Covid-victim conference disaster into a good deed

When a group of student teachers were forced to scrap a vital conference they were determined not to let months of hard work go to waste.

Thursday, 23rd July 2020, 12:45 pm
Members of the second-year BA (Hons) Primary Education (5-11): Inclusion with SEND QTS programme, University of Cumbria Lancaster campus

Inclusion in the Modern Day was due to take place at the Lancaster campus of University of Cumbria, organised by its second-year students on r four-year BA Hons Primary Education with QTS in Inclusion/SEND (special educational needs) programme.

But, when Covid-19 halted their plans they made sure that their months raising funds in the run-up to the conference to cover costs such as accommodation for keynote speakers, catering and marketing wasn't in vain.

Events included sponsored walks, raffles and bake sales.

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Instead, the soon-to-be teachers have donated a quantity of tea, coffee and snacks to Morecambe Bay Food Bank and a total of £827.66 has been given to the Fylde Sharks Disability Swimming Club in Lytham.

One of the student teachers, Anna Stevenson said: "We had to make the hard decision to cancel the conference. We’d already purchased coffee, sugar and biscuits for the day so as soon as we knew the conference was cancelled we were able to donate these to the Morecambe Bay Food Bank. 

"A decision had also been reached that any funds left over would be donated to the swimming club. We’d designated this as our chosen charity before the conference because one of my peers had previously worked there and seen the great work they do for children with additional needs. 

“It means we’ve been able to donate £827.66 to the Fylde Sharks Disability Swimming Club and they’ve informed me that this money will help towards when they hope to restart in September. We are so pleased that we’ve been able to help such great causes in this way.”

Graham Hallett, senior lecturer at the university’s Institute of Education, said: "We’re heartened that, coinciding with Disability Awareness Day in July, our students have made this presentation to these good causes. For the swimming club, it is a sum that is sufficient to pay for pool hire and lifeguards for one month.

"This was money that the group raised to pay for their student-led conference that they arranged as part of one of their modules this last year which unfortunately had to be cancelled.

" This would have been the 10th conference. We are proud to see how our students have continued to think of and support others despite their event setback."

Paul Cooper, a swimming teacher at the Fylde Sharks Disability Swimming Club, added: : “Thank you from us all at the club to the student teachers for their very generous donation.

"We hope to be restarting in September if all goes well and this will help us cover pool hire and lifeguards for the first few weeks. It’s a significant contribution."