Winter Wonderland organised by Suffolk students for charity gets royal plaudits from The Queen

From left to right: front row - Harry Swayne, Wesley Newton, Ben McMillan and Jordan Allen. Back r

From left to right: front row - Harry Swayne, Wesley Newton, Ben McMillan and Jordan Allen. Back row shows Shelley Fry and Sarah Lakin-Hall, with the letter from The Queen. Picture: JOHN NICE - Credit: Archant

Entrepreneurial students from a college in Suffolk who crafted handmade Christmas gifts experienced their own winter wonderland after gaining a seal of approval from The Queen.

Students from Easton and Otley College hosted a Winter Wonderland fair for good causes in Suffolk in December, selling items they had handcrafted.

Among the winter wares the students made were kindling, bird boxes, calendars, models and candles.

The group raised more than £500 split between several good causes, and as a goodwill gesture also send a selection of their creations to The Queen alongside a letter detailing their efforts.

But the group were stunned to get a letter back from Sandringham House just days into the new year, with praise from The Queen for their selfless work and entrepreneurial spirit.

Wesley Newton, one of the students involved in the fundraising, said: “It was great to be involved in the fair and it was amazing to get a letter from the Queen.”

The letter, written by one of the royal residence’s lady in waiting on behalf of The Queen, said: “The Queen wishes me to thank you for your letter.

Most Read

“The Queen was interested to hear the students have been able to use their skills to create items to be sold on campus and raise funds for charity.

“I hope you and all the students at Easton and Otley College enjoy a successful year ahead.”

The money raised will benefit the college’s two chosen charities for this year – Suffolk Mind and Help for Heroes, with the Samaritans and Salvation Army also benefitting from the fair.

Lee Robinson, curriculum manager for foundation learning at the college, said: “Enterprise and employability opportunities for our students is an extremely important learning activity that enables real progress in their development.

“All students have the opportunity to engage in activities like this.

“Getting a letter like this gives our students confidence that what they make, produce and sell is of a high standard and appreciated.”

Since then, other enterprise plans have been underway, including a photo booth for Valentine’s Day, pancake packs being sold for Pancake Day and plans for a flower bouquet stall for Mother’s Day.