Portsmouth youngsters spread seasonal goodwill with gift of hampers to the homelessÂ
THE CHILDRENÂ of Mayfield School have shown the importance of giving this Christmas after handing over 68 hampers to a charity for the homeless.
Representatives from theÂ Society of St James attended a special assembly to thank the children and be presented with the hampers.
Recovery service manager, Anna Jackson, said: '˜The efforts of the staff and children is absolutely tremendous. It will have an enormous impact on the people who use our centre. I think they will be delighted and it is good for them to see that people care. Some of the food from the hampers will be used to help provide a Christmas dinner to theÂ people who visit the shelter.'
In addition to donations of foodÂ the schoolÂ made a conscious decision to also include items of clothing and toiletries.Â
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Head girl, Helena Williams, 16, said: '˜At this time of year it is important to provideÂ warm clothes to help people in the cold weather. The Society of Saint James haveÂ washing facilities and so the toiletries will also be useful.'
Local branches of Asda, Tesco and Morrisons donated items of food and clothing. Halfords contributed items such as thermos flasks and waterproof clothing and there were also contributions from hearing aid manufacturers Starkey and Phonak.
Asda Community Champion, Dani Dean, said: '˜We wanted to get involved as it is great to help people in the local community. It is important to show people we care as no one wants to be left with nothing at Christmas.'
Tesco representative, Gemma Morrison, added: '˜We get a lot of requests but this is a project we really wanted to get involved in. We hadÂ the resources and were happy to help in anyway we can.'
This is the third year the school has been involved in providing hampers to the societyÂ and headteacherÂ David JeapesÂ believes this year's project has been the most successful yet.Â
'˜This year has captured the imagination of the whole school and community. I am humbled by the generosity that has been shown and really proud of the staff and students,' explained Mr Jeapes.
Special guest at the assembly was the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Cllr Lee Mason.
'˜I think the children have shown such initiative and a real passion for this project. The hampers will provide a huge support for the charity and the clothes will be particularly useful with the wet weather at this time of year,' said Cllr Mason.
Mr Jeapes was particularly proud that students hadÂ embraced the true festive spirit.
'˜The hamper initiative really allows the children to express the true meaning of Christmas and the importance of giving to others rather than taking,' explained Mr Jeapes.Â Â