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News & Events UTCN students’ sleigh delivers Christmas cheer for Norwich food bank.

A group of five Year 11 Engineering students at the University Technical College Norfolk (UTCN) has put its own cheer into Christmas 2020 by building a replica of Santa’s sleigh to deliver food to the local food bank.

As for all places of education, the COVID pandemic has made 2020 a difficult year for students and staff at UTCN and the community which it serves. So this year, after an inspired idea from Finn Smith, the students voted for a change from their usual ‘themed’ Christmas tree project in favour of something both educational and fun, and which could be used as a basis for seasonal giving.

Under the guidance of their engineering teacher, Ian Wiseman, the students used SolidWorks CAD programme to produce a 3D digital design for a sleigh, which they constructed using box steel for the frame, and aluminium sheeting for the sides. The finished sleigh was bought at auction by the parents of one of the students for £125.

Staff, students and parents then donated enough food to fill the sleigh three times over. The proceeds of the sale, plus the food went to the Norwich Food Bank, which has received a huge increase in applications for help since the beginning of the pandemic.

Headteacher Alex Hayes is very proud of the school’s Engineering department, saying:

“Mr Wiseman and his students have shown imagination and community spirit in implementing this Christmas project. Through their efforts and generosity, many people in Norwich who are suffering from the economic disaster caused by the pandemic will benefit. However, I must point out that the sleigh is a replica, and not suitable for riding in – sorry Santa!”

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