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Connecting communities through the Crisp Packet Project

During the COVID-19 pandemic, LaiHa Diamond (Business Support Manager for King’s Community Business Services) came across the Crisp Packet Project on Facebook. This initiative helps reduce the amount of single use plastics going to landfill by turning crisp packets and clear plastic into survival blankets for individuals experiencing homelessness or struggling to keep warm in their homes. LaiHa quickly joined a Crisp Packet Project group and began making blankets for distribution in her local community. Realising that students and staff could support the initiative while building connections, LaiHa developed online and in-person workshops to teach others in the King’s community how to create these life-saving blankets.

LaiHa shared the knowledge and skills she had gained volunteering for the Crisp Packet Project with King’s students, staff and alumni through online workshops that she designed and delivered for Global Day of Service in 2021. When more staff began to return to King’s campuses, LaiHa adapted the workshops for in-person delivery, with the additional aim of bringing the King’s community together in service of society. 

Taking the online crisp packet workshop to deliver them in-person was very beneficial. It was also a great way to bring our King’s staff together to do something fun and to support our local community.– LaiHa Diamond, Business Support Manager for King’s Community Business Services

During King’s Sustainability Month in February 2022, LaiHa and a team of volunteers launched a campaign for staff to bring in their unwanted crisp packets. The team collected over 500 crisp packets that were sorted, washed and dried ready to be turned into survival blankets during the in-person workshops LaiHa organised for Global Day of Service in March.

Audrey Roux, a member of the King’s Residences team, made the most of the in-person session: ‘I had a lovely time at the workshop. It was very interesting and, as a new starter, it was a nice opportunity to get to know my colleagues.’

The crisp packet project was a fantastic opportunity for us to connect with other staff members whilst giving back to our community. It was incredible to see so many staff members working together and dedicating their time to supporting the project. Making the blankets was really enjoyable and I’d definitely encourage as many staff as possible to get involved as it’s a great feeling once you complete a blanket!– Laura Edwards, Performance Sport Coordinator, TASS Lead & Lifestyle Advisor, King's Sport

Neil Lawrence, a Residence Manager, joined the workshop as he wanted to learn how empty crisp packets could help keep people warmer and dryer. Neil commented that, after spending ‘the afternoon fusing packets and plastic together’, he ‘saw first-hand how thick and sturdy the crisp packet survival blankets were.’

Neil also noted the benefits for those who took part in the workshop: ‘It is a fun and crafty way to recycle for good and I would highly recommend this workshop for colleagues and students to get involved and to make a difference in our community.’

The survival blankets created during the in-person workshops were distributed to community organisations, such as the Slough Food Bank, which supports local people in crisis.

Following the success of the in-person sessions, LaiHa plans to launch workshops across King’s Residences during the next academic year to continue supporting the Crisp Packet Project and to help build connections between King’s staff, students and local communities.

It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture, but just doing something good for someone else can make a huge difference to them.– LaiHa Diamond, Business Support Manager for King’s Community Business Services

Find out more

Learn more about The Crisp Packet Project

Download LaiHa's short guide on how to create a Crisp Packet Blanket

Discover more about Service at King’s

CPP Process Workshop

Service Time

Everyone employed by King’s can choose to spend up to three days or 21 hours per year doing voluntary work for another organisation or volunteering scheme, regardless of the role you have at King’s. The time you can take to volunteer is pro-rated if you work at King’s part-time.

This Service Time is part of our commitment to support and enable colleagues to undertake community activity beyond the university. From being a trustee for a local charity to mentoring a young person, use your Service Time to share your skills, insights and knowledge with causes that are important to you.

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