School raises money to bring Christmas cheer to the homeless
Grafton Primary School got into the festive spirit before Christmas and raised over £600 for Romford Soup Kitchen.
Teachers from the Dagenham school asked parents to donate to the Romford charity instead of sending in gifts with the children for staff members.
The initiative set out to teach the pupils about the true meaning of Christmas and with the money raised, the school was able to purchase a range of items for homeless people living locally including sleeping bags, mats, pillows, toiletries, first aid items, clothing and more.
Cheryl Skyes, a representative from Romford Soup Kitchen said: “Thank you so much, the guys were very appreciative. I explained what the school had done and they said to say thank you so much.
“We handed out the six sleeping bags to new guys who had never been on the streets before and had nothing but what they were wearing so they were very appreciative. Thank you so much to everyone involved.”
Students from the school’s Rights Respecting Ambassadors helped package up all of the items bought before they were sent off to the soup kitchen.
Acting Assistant Headteacher Alice Carroll said: “This initiative linked to our ethos as a Rights Respecting School and gave children an understanding of the greater meaning of Christmas. Children learnt about a local issue and felt proud that their positive actions could make a difference to the lives of others in the community.
“We were overwhelmed by the generosity from our parents, carers, families and friends.”
Councillor Evelyn Carpenter, Cabinet Member for Educational Attainment and School Improvement said: “This is amazing and so thoughtful of the teachers at Grafton Primary School. I am sure the recipients of the items were extremely grateful.
“I would also like to say a huge thank you to the pupils and their parents for donating so much money. It seemed to go a long way and I am sure the items purchased made life that little easier for the recipients.”
If you are concerned about someone sleeping rough this winter, please alert www.streetlink.org.uk, so they can get a member of staff out to them to offer support.