Horsham college students design Samaritans’ Christmas cards

Designs created by students at Horsham’s Collyer’s College are now being featured as The Samaritans’ Christmas cards.

Students studying A levels in Contemporary Fine Art, Graphic Communication and Textiles have been designing Christmas cards for Horsham’s local branch of the Samaritans.

And the winning entries are now being used as the Samaritans Christmas card designs for this year.

Collyer’s Principal Dan Lodge said: “Within the Collyer’s community the Samaritans charity is really close to our hearts and we are privileged to have such a special relationship with them.”

Sienna Jay and Eleanor Guthrie

The five winning designs are being sold in charity venues around the area and are proving so popular they are having to be reprinted.

The award-winning students are delighted. Eleanor Guthrie, soon to be studying architecture at university, said: “I feel really honoured to be able to help the Samaritans this Christmas and hope that the cards can bring joy to anyone who gives, receives or is helped by the money they raise.”

Sienna Jay said: “I am delighted that my design is being used to raise awareness of the important work of the Samaritans, particularly after the challenges so many have faced in recent times.”

Holly Cannons added: “This year, we all need to help our friends, family and neighbours who may find this Christmas particularly hard.”

The Christmas card designed by Eleanor Guthrie

Susie McAlister, head of art at Collyer’s, said: “In any given year the charity will answer 5 million calls for help, 20,000 volunteers gave their time, 17,000 trained as listeners and 2,000 volunteers run the 201 branches.

Mental Health and wellbeing is an issue which affects our whole society and something our young people are particularly aware of.

The Samaritans give our young artists an opportunity to raise money, particularly in this Covid year, for a cause they feel helps everyone in our local area, irrespective of age, political agenda, or personal circumstances, remembering that Christmas can be a lonely and isolating time of year for some.

“The art department and the college are pleased to be a small part of the contribution the Samaritans make to the local community.”

The Christmas card desgined by Sienna Jay

The designs are created in the summer by the students, which can prove challenging when trying to create Christmas cheer on a hot day.

Art teacher Ian McAlister explained: “It is not unusual to see the Art Department listening to Christmas carols, wearing Santa hats, and having a fully decorated Christmas tree in July!

“This is a vital part of students understanding how the illustration industry works, often out of season, but more importantly allowing the students to see their talents make a positive contribution to the important work of the Samaritans charity.”

The Christmas card designed by Holly Cannons