Staff from Coleg Llandrillo's Independent Living Skills (ILS) department have been busy putting together a reverse advent calendar, containing over 200 individual items - equating to £500 of goods - which the students will donate to a local foodbank this week.

A reverse advent calendar is a simple concept that encourages people to give, and not receive, as they countdown to Christmas. People collect one item each day for a month, and then, in the run-up to Christmas, the whole 'calendar box' is donated to a foodbank.

Staff brought in 'one' item - from a tin of beans to a carrier bag full of goodies - every day in November to add to the calendar. This giant calendar will now be donated to the Trussell Trust foodbank in Abergele, which specifically asked for tinned meat, cat food and toiletries, as well as some Christmas treats!

Students helped check the sell-by dates, checked for any damages, and repackaged the goods. The initial request was for 25 items from Independent Living Skills staff, but his grew to an incredible 200 items by the end of the task! Coleg Llandrillo's ILS department runs a number of courses for students with mild to moderate learning disabilities, severe learning disabilities and social and emotional behavioural difficulties, which are tailor-made to meet individual needs.

Staff member, Cheryl Kersey-Brown, said:

We are absolutely overwhelmed and delighted by the response from staff at Coleg Llandrillo. What a brilliant effort to collect so many items. I am sure that they will be gratefully received, especially at this time of the year.

Reverse advent calendars are a great idea, and yet another example of how local communities are taking action to stop their neighbours going hungry.

The Trussell Trust partners with local communities to help stop UK hunger. Fourteen million people live below the poverty line in the UK, with individuals going hungry every day for a range of reasons: from benefits delays to receiving an unexpected bill whilst on a low income.

The Trust's network of over 420 foodbanks operate out of more than 1,200 centres across the UK and provide a minimum of three days' emergency food and support to people experiencing crisis. It sees a 45% spike in referrals for emergency food parcels in the two weeks running up to Christmas.