STUDENTS are harnessing a host of new skills to help them prepare for the world of work and boost charity coffers.

Next Steps students at Darlington College have been honing their entrepreneurial talents by making a variety of crafts in the classroom to sell to the public in the town’s Cornmill Centre.

Every Friday happy customers are enjoying buying everything from plants, home-made cards and cakes, to coasters, headbands and decorative jars, in an initiative designed to make them even more employable.

Next Steps provides a supported learning programme for young people working towards post-16 qualifications and employment.

Darlington College learning support assistant Alison York said: “The students have worked really hard in class making some fantastic products which the public definitely love to buy.”

Proceeds go to buy materials and ten per cent of profits will be donated to charity.

Student Charlotte Walters, 18, said: “It has been brilliant. I have learnt how to make scrunchies and head bands, bows and greetings cards. I feel I have learnt a great deal and it is nice to make use of my new skills to help charity.”