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West Kent College looking for clients for the Design Volunteers programme

By Ed McConnell

A West Kent College project to provide free design work to local charities and not-for-profit organisations is looking for more partners as it enters its second year.

The Design Volunteers initiative sees students from the second year of the University of Kent’s Graphic Design HND course paired off with local organisations.

Students at the Brook Street, Tonbridge, site have previously undertaken all kinds of graphics work for these organisations, from logos and rebranding to posters, leaflets, brochures and websites.

West Kent College
West Kent College

Last year's organisations ranged from those working with physical and mental health and skills for life, young children and the elderly, to cultural and educational charities.

While uptake was so good organisations had to be added to a waiting list this time there will be 16 students to pair off, so the college is looking for as many clients as possible.

"I became aware donating my time and skills to a community effort could create something on a much larger scale than I originally thought." — Natasha Mayhew

Sancha de Burca, tutor and organiser of Design Volunteers, said: “Organisations benefit from the project in getting the skills of a free designer for a period of eight months, while students gain valuable experience in real world client relationships, creativity and professionalism.

"The students have a socially responsible agenda and are keen to see graphic design used to help the local community and therefore they appreciate this direct way of donating their skills to the community.”

Sarah Killick said: "I'm glad my work over the last academic year with Soroptimist International will potentially benefit a charity that works with a community and for a cause very close to my heart. I always took the community associated with the charity into consideration with my design.”

Natasha Mayhew created the branding and design for a large event called Women
Work, empowering women and girls.

She said: "I became aware donating my time and skills to a community effort could create something on a much larger scale than I originally thought. I felt that I was really doing something that made a difference and it also made me aware of how much a
few days of your time can mean to someone else.”

Andrew Lawson-Wood designed for Children of Gambia services and was able to go to their school in The Gambia to make a promotional film for them.

He said: "I had never considered doing unpaid work for a charity before, so it opened my eyes into how much I can help the community and how to be a more socially responsible designer.”

If you know of a local charity, not-for- profit organisation or community group that would like the services of an undergraduate designer, then please contact Sancha de Burca for more information: sanchadeburca@westkent.ac.uk

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