Foodbanks in Bournemouth have had their stocks well and truly replenished thanks to Sasha from Avonbourne College. Her social action project as part of her AQA Unlocking Potential programme involved students bringing in non-perishable goods for use in foodbanks in the local area.

AQA Unlocking Potential is an eight month transformational mentoring programme for young people aged 14-19 years of age, run jointly with education charity AQA. Students on the programme get the chance to work with and learn from Dame Kelly Holmes Trust’s team of inspirational athlete mentors. They are nominated by their teachers who believe that they would benefit from mentoring support to develop life skills and increase their confidence, self-belief and motivation. The social action project is a core part of the programme and the young people are in charge of all stages; from ideas, through planning stages and to delivery.


One in five people in Bournemouth area live in poverty so for her social action project, Sasha decided to organise a mufti day at the school to support this community. Rather than charging fellow students, she recognised that not everyone could afford this, she instead asked people to bring in tins or other non perishable items in return for not wearing school uniform for the day - as you can see in the pictures, the response was amazing!

On the programme at Avonbourne College, Sasha worked with Chris Weale, an ex professional footballer now working with the Trust as an athlete mentor, Sasha said:

My mentor Chris has been amazing. He's challenged me to become better in what I do and thanks to his help, we've managed to complete this great project. I'm really proud of myself for putting all this together, it's given me so much confidence. I would say to anyone else (thinking about doing the programme) to go for it, it's been amazing.

Sasha's teacher Megan said:

Sasha was very shy and self deprecating when she started the programme, but she's now really confident. She stood up in front of the whole school at assembly to tell them about her project - there's no way she would have been able to do that before. The programme has been phenomenal.

All the food collected on the day was distributed to the SouthBourne foodbank who work with Faith Work Wessex and Churches Together in SouthBourne.


We were lucky enough to have a film crew down on the day to capture the brilliant success, look out for a film about Sasha's project and other social action projects taking place as part of AQA Unlocking Potential coming soon.