Sensory blanket project puts students on Youthbank awards shortlist

Employability students with fidget blankets

Students from Glasgow Clyde College have been shortlisted for Youthbank Project of the Year 2017, after hand-making 15 sensory blankets, which are used to facilitate learning for children with additional needs.

The group are part of the College’s Bridge to Further Education course, which is designed to help young people gain the skills needed to get back into further education. As part of the course’s community unit, the class created sensory blankets for children at East Park children’s home, which provides education services to children with additional support needs, including autism.

Following a successful application process, interview and presentation, the students secured a Youthbank grant to help fund the project. The money was used to buy sewing machines and fund a sewing class to develop their skills further. The group received donations of fabric offcuts, zips, buttons and other materials needed to make the sensory blankets, which will help children with sensory issues.

A total of 15 blankets were made and presented to the children of East Park at a coffee morning which was also organised, hosted and funded by the students.

Margaret Bent, Senior Lecturer in Employability at the College said: “This has been an excellent project for the students. The purpose of the course is to teach skills in a different way – teamwork, deadlines and responsibility, but this has allowed them to develop interview skills, sewing skills, and experience the benefit of helping others.

“They managed the process on their own – I have simply been there to offer advice. To win the Project of the Year award would simply be the icing on the cake”

The group from Glasgow Clyde College are one of five shortlisted in the Project of the Year Category at Youthbank’s annual awards on Wednesday 6th September.

Students will have to showcase their project and discuss their venture at the event in front of a panel of judges. The winner will receive further funding for their project.