Guildford College students raise over £1,100 for ZSL London and Whipsnade Zoos with charity fundraising activity during lockdown

Level 2 Health and Social Care and Early Years students at Guildford College have spent the last month taking part in a fantastic activity which has not only given them the opportunity to get some valuable fresh air and a break from screen time, but also to get involved with raising money for a much-loved cause.

During a particularly wet and dull day, Guildford College tutor, Bernadette Jones, saw an advert to walk a mile each day in February to raise money for ZSL London and Whipsnade Zoo.

All sponsorship donations will go towards helping to secure the future of the zoo and the vital conservation work that the organisation undertakes.

Having suffered throughout three national lockdowns in the past year, the organisation has lost many millions of pounds, jeopardising the future of ZSL and the 20,000 animals that live at London and Whipsnade zoos. Even Sir David Attenborough said: “Don’t let London Zoo and Whipsnade Zoo go extinct”.

Bernadette put the idea to her students who were all feeling the effects of yet another lockdown and they all immediately jumped on board!

Setting up a JustGiving page, the students and Bernadette set about their task with great enthusiasm. Giving themselves an original target of £100, this was increased as money started pouring in from impressed friends and relatives and the total currently stands at £1,225!

Bernardette said: “I am so proud of how my students have demonstrated their support for the Zoo and embraced the challenge so willingly. It is a massive achievement, and they are all amazing.”

Health and social care students Georgia and Ella, who have been taking part in this activity, said: “We took part in this fundraiser because it was a good opportunity to get out of the house to do something since we can’t do much else at the moment. Knowing it was for such as good cause to help the animals at London and Whipsnade Zoos has made it very worthwhile going out for a walk every day!”

Early Years student, Lauren, uses a wheelchair and said: “I was willing to take part in this opportunity to show no matter what disability you have, you can always achieve what you want to and prove that I was able to make this happen.

“Doing a mile walk to help raise money for the zoo is really important to help the animals get fed due to these uncertain times due to the pandemic”.

James Wren, Executive Director of Fundraising at ZSL, said: “By undertaking and completing this challenge, the funds raised will help to feed and care for 20,000 animals at ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo while they are closed to the public and our income is shut off. We are completely reliant on the generosity of people like you during this troubled time. We are all enormously grateful.”

If you would like to sponsor Guildford College students in support of this worthy cause, their JustGiving page will remain open until the end of March.

If you would like to learn more about health and social care or early years programmes at Guildford College, please visit the Guildford College website or call Activate Learning on 0800 612 6008.