At Virtual College, we are passionate about helping others, from safeguarding children, supporting mental health and helping young people to develop skills. As part of this passion, we actively support charities across the UK and, over the years, we’ve conducted several projects to raise awareness and funds for causes we care deeply about. We have donated over £300,000 to charities over the years and our staff actively support national and local charities across the UK with fund raising activities. Here are a few of the charities we support:
Mind is a charity that has recently become close to our hearts. In memory of a Virtual College employee, we take part in the Leeds Abbey Dash every year, as well as organise other events to raise money for Mind. Our team has volunteered for the ‘Mile for Mind Wellness Walk', ‘Time to Talk’ drop-in sessions and much more.
Mind provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaignto improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.
We also raise money for the Stroke Association by taking part in the Leeds Abbey Dash, which is in memory of another of our colleagues. Last year we raised over £2300 for Stroke Association and Mind.
Stroke Association aim to provide specialist support, critical research and campaign to make sure people affected by a stroke get the very best care and support to rebuild their lives.
We are a creative bunch, which is why we love taking part in the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning every year, baking to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Macmillan Cancer Support take the time to understand people suffering from cancer, so that they can provide the support, tools and inspiration people need to find the best way through.
BTRS is Yorkshire's leading brain tumour charity dedicated to raising funds for life-changing research and patient support. Virtual College conquered the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge in memory of colleague Paul Dickinson, raising over £3,600 for the charity.
Virtual College’s e-learning course on FGM was developed in collaboration with the Home Office. We oversaw the design and distribution of cutting-edge training designed to educate learners about the indicators of ‘at risk’ women and the law on FGM in the UK. To date, the training has been completed by 416,000 learners and receives almost 10,000 website page views per month. Alison Humphreys from the Home Office has commented that “the course has had a real impact… enabling learners to know what to look for and how to respond with confidence.”
In 2018, our CEO Rod Knox observed the need to improve the population’s basic life-saving skills (every seven minutes a person will have a heart attack but many witnesses do not act) and the reach elearning could have. He created the ‘Prepared to Save a Life’ campaign. A partnership was formed between Virtual College, the Community Save a Life Scheme and Bolsover Council, to promote their joint mission to have a life saver on every street corner of the UK. A free online course was developed, and it continues to provide members of the community with basic life-saving skills.
Rod arranged a national launch at the House of Commons which proved a huge success, with 25 MPs pledging their support. To date, over 140 organisations have pledged support with over 13,000 individuals trained. Virtual College donated time, support and technical infrastructure to the project and Rod commented that “utilising our expertise in online technology, we can truly take basic life-saving skills to all”.