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Hedgehog friendly Sheffield College students and staff achieve national silver award


Sheffield College students and staff have received a national charity award recognising their efforts to create a hedgehog friendly environment.

The College has achieved the Silver Hedgehog Friendly Campus Award 2022/23 after joining a national project to help hedgehogs thrive.

This latest award recognises the work of staff and 20 students completing inclusion courses at the College’s Peaks Campus.

During the last year, they have improved the environment by picking 16 bags of litter and planting 105 trees at the Campus.

Their efforts are aimed at ensuring campuses are litter-free and have joined-up habitats to provide opportunities for hedgehogs to eat, drink and nest.

The award is part of a national campaign being led by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society at colleges, universities and schools.

Carole Wilkinson, Learner Support Assistant in Inclusion, The Sheffield College, said: “We are delighted to receive this recognition. It’s great to see students and staff taking care of their local environment and supporting wildlife to thrive.”

The project has been a success with the students. Abi Clayton, who is studying the Independent Living Skills programme, said: “I love animals, so it was great helping hedgehogs plus wildlife in general.”

Kieran Walker, who is completing the Supported Work Skills programme, commented: “I thought it was awesome to help with saving the hedgehogs. I was very interested in raising awareness and giving people information about Hedgehog Friendly Campus.”

Steven Lilley, who is also completing the Supported Work Skills programme, added: “I love hedgehogs and I want to save them from litter.”

Hedgehogs are vulnerable to extinction in Britain, according to the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, having declined by 50% since 2000.

Roads, litter, a lack of food and water and a reduction of their natural habitats are believed to be contributing factors.

Staff, including Carole Wilkinson, and students have become Hedgehog Champions and Ambassadors since the College joined the Hedgehog Friendly Campus scheme in 2021.

They include students completing animal care and inclusion courses across the College, which is Ofsted graded ‘good’.

Inclusion students have a variety of support needs, learning difficulties or disabilities, or are seeking to re-engage with education.

Visit Follow @SheffCol @HogFriendly #HFCSilver @hedgehogsociety @sosukcharity.

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