Article

GCU graduate returns to make this year's Christmas Hamper Appeal a record-breaker

19 December 2018

Former Student Mentor Jimmy Wylie has returned to GCU to help make it a record year for donations to this year's Caledonian Club Christmas Hamper Appeal.

Around 75 hampers and food parcels will now be distributed to families in need over the festive season in deprived areas of Glasgow.

Staff and students donated £400 and hundreds of items to fill 60 hamper bags, and the Appeal got a huge boost from Jimmy and his colleagues when he handed in enough food to make up another 15 food parcels.

The Caledonian Club and its partner nurseries in areas of deprivation such as Castlemilk, Haghill, Drumchapel, Milton and Springburn have extended a huge thanks to everyone who donated this year.

Nathan Tagg, Caledonian Club Manager, said: "We can’t thank staff, students, and Jimmy and his colleagues enough for their generosity and helping to make this a record-breaking year. Their donations will help many children in need this Christmas, which can be the toughest time of the year for families living in poverty.

“To many Caledonian Club pupils, Jimmy was a role model - someone they could relate to and who had shared experiences. Jimmy made a success of his life at GCU and beyond. To the Caledonian Club he was a valued member of the team and ambassador for the work we undertake.”

Jimmy grew up seeing the benefits of the Caledonian Club and then helped out as a Student Mentor whilst studying Design Management at GCU. He graduated with a Masters Degree four-years-ago.

Now as Senior Project Manager at IPL Scotland, a drinks packaging firm based in Falkirk, Jimmy wanted to give something back to the Caledonian Club by donating to the Christmas Hamper Appeal.

He said: “I’ve seen first-hand the great work of the Caledonian Club both when I was at school and helping out as a Student Mentor. I just wanted to give something back.

“My history with the Club officially started with working for them as a mentor, but my history really runs deeper. As a teenager, I was a part of a similar initiative that was ostensibly run by the same people and with a similar aim in expanding horizons and working towards equality of opportunity in education. 

“This initial involvement or even intervention is the ultimate reason that I got a place at GCU. Essentially by working or by being mentored with the Club, they had a deeper knowledge of my abilities and suitability to study than what the higher qualifications I was allowed to sit reflected. Without this, I would never have had the opportunity to present myself to the tutors and try for a University place at that time.”

He said that working as a mentor with the Club was “incredible fun and rewarding work” and feels privileged to have been involved in delivering “ground-breaking projects”.

“I hope that as a product of the Club’s programmes, my story can be viewed as a testament to the great work that the club do,” added Jimmy.