Enterprising students from Kirklees College aim to raise lots of cash for charity with two innovative product ideas.
The college set 4,500 full-time students across its eight centres a challenge to come up with ideas for products that could be made to raise money for the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice at Bradley.
Six projects where chosen to take part in a “Dragons’ Den” event – where two ideas were selected by the judges to be produced and sold for the charity.
The judges were hospice retail marketing consultant Alison Noblet, Santander area director Jonathan Rostron and Colne Valley MP Jason McCartney.
The first of the two challenges – to design a tote bag – was won by a team of art and design students at Batley School of Art, who designed a bag featuring a butterfly, ribbons and a forget-me-not flower. The team, called Lightning Designs, comprised Ben Whiteley, of Dewsbury; Leia Allen, of Earlsheaton; Zanaib Mamaniat and Nathan Holroyd, both of Batley; Stephen Newsome, of Mirfield; and Rose Craig, from Brighouse.
The second challenge was won by The Fantastic Five, a group of Peter Jones Enterprise Academy students based at the college’s Chapel Hill site. The team of Annalise Wilson and Christopher Kelly, both from Dalton; Adam Ali, of Salendine Nook; Shahira Allen and Che Ozoria-Bruno, both of Newsome, designed a mug using a handprint and names of children featured on the Forget Me Not Hospice website.
The two winning projects received start-up money of £500 from recruitment company Stafflex, Huddersfield Town AFC and Eaton Smith Solicitors to produce their merchandise, which will be sold in the charity’s retail stores across West Yorkshire.
Steven Downham-Clarke, Kirklees College assistant principal, said the aim of the challenge was to develop innovation and creativity in students.
“Focusing on developing students’ entrepreneurial skills will not only increase their employability, but also help promote self-employment as a viable career option,” he said. “We had some amazing ideas presented to us and I look forward to seeing the winning products on sale and making money for Forget Me Not.”
To inspire them, students heard from guest speakers including Chris Sharkey, of Santander; Faye Devenney, of software design firm 365 Bizflow; Hannah Mason and Heidi Waddington, of The Art House in Wakefield; Deborah Ogden, of coaching organisation Positive Impact; Tony Wales, of Natwest; Huddersfield businessman Mike Phillips; and Belinda Healey from Lloyds Banking Group.
They also saw motivational video messages from Huddersfield Town owner Dean Hoyle and Educating Yorkshire teacher Michael Steer.
Other events – all organised by college business enterprise manager Lydia Butterworth as part of Global Enterpreneurship Week – included a live link with the Instituto Thomas Jefferson school in Mexico.