KIND-HEARTED students have raised more than £4,000 to support the work of the Royal British Legion.

Colchester Institute supported the charity during the last academic year.

It saw pupils and staff raising awareness of the Armed Forces with a number of fundraising events.

The college created a structure which was filled with 100 poppies to mark the centenary of the First World War.

The poppies were then removed and auctioned off, and the funds were donated to the legion.

Students studying public services organised a biathlon which raised £1,553.

It saw students run the equivalent distance of Colchester to Dover, followed by a swim, representing the distance from Dover to Calais and finally a foot race that would have taken them on to Ypres in Belgium.

Smaller events such as quizzes, Christmas Jumper Day, bake sales and other various fundraisers also contributed to the final sum as well as collection pots dotted around campuses.

The money will be used to support the work of the legion which can include food vouchers, activity courses and paying for an Admiral nurse.

The cheque was presented by Colchester Institute’s principal Alison Andreas to RBL community fundraising officer, Mandi Cox-Osborne.

Mrs Andreas said: “It was particularly fitting that in the centennial year, and of course being in a Garrison Town, that we were able to support the Royal British Legion.

"Our students and staff organised a wide-range of activities to raise funds for this very important charity.”

Ms Cox-Osbourne added: “Thank you to all the staff and students for all their hard work and dedication to supporting the Essex Poppy Appeal. This is an amazing amount of money raised.

"The legion offers life-long support to the Armed Forces community in a number of ways.

"It’s fundraising events, like those that were conducted at Colchester Institute that help to ensure we can still provide the vital services to those we support – our Armed Forces community."