Students put their business knowledge into action to support Air Ambulance Charity

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Enterprising students have applied the knowledge and experience gained on business management programmes at Hartpury University to support the vital work of a lifesaving charity.

Faced with the huge challenges of lockdown, a cohort of 88 first-year students came up with an array of innovative online ideas to carry out fundraising promotions and events online to raise funds for the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC).

Raising funds for the GWAAC is an intrinsic part of the Business Management module undertaken by all BA (Hons) Sport Business Management and BSc (Hons) Equine Business Management first-year students at Hartpury University.

As well as supporting the GWAAC, the project enables students to apply knowledge and skills learned on the module, such as leadership, team development, organisation and planning, to run a live project in a real-world setting.

Stephen Whitbourn, Senior Lecturer in Business Management at Hartpury University, said: “The events were held face to face on site in previous years, but owing to lockdown restrictions, the students were tasked with finding alternative ways to support the GWAAC.

“The whole cohort were extremely enthusiastic about the project right from the start and they were very innovative and enterprising with their event ideas in these difficult times.

“The students should be really proud of the way they have responded to such a unique set of circumstances – qualities which will certainly stand them in good stead for the future.

“We believe it’s important to challenge students with real-world learning opportunities, to allow them to explore their calling and share their passion, vision and drive, so they’re ready to embark on successful careers.”

The fundraising events organised by the students, which raised £1,334 for the GWAAC, included online bingo, a Netflix movie night, a sponsored walk and raffle, and an online dressage event.

Vicky King, Community Co-ordinator at the Great Western Air Ambulance charity, said: “The Hartpury students have raised an incredible amount of money and we’re extremely thankful for their hard work and enthusiasm for our cause.

“The money raised in such unusual circumstances during COVID-19 is equivalent to the costs of over half a mission in the helicopter and so helps us to be there for someone in our community when they need us most – a really great achievement!

“As a charity we receive no day-to-day government or national lottery funding, so these donations will help us to continue to remain operations throughout the region.”

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