Portsmouth Lord Mayor left '˜close to tears' by pupils' kindness

CARING children have been doing all they can to brighten the lives of hundreds of homeless people this Christmas.

Pupils at Miltoncross Academy in Milton, Portsmouth, are the latest to get behind The News’ call for residents to help the needy this year.

Youngsters rallied to create dozens of Christmas hampers, packed with tinned foods, clothes and toiletries, which they donated to Buckland homeless charity Central Point.

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And they held their own Christmas fundraiser, which made more than £1,234 for the charity appeal of Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor David Fuller.

The pupils presented the cash and donations to Cllr Fuller and Central Point yesterday morning.

Speaking of their support, the lord mayor said: ‘I was very choked up. I nearly came to tears.

‘I couldn’t believe it. I want to thank them all on behalf of the people of Portsmouth for their generosity.’

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Rebecca Fletcher is the head of humanities at the school and organised the charity drive.

She said: ‘This is the biggest collection we have ever done.

‘It’s been absolutely amazing.

‘We filled two whole cars and a minibus with all the hampers.

‘It’s been breathtaking how generous people are and how supportive pupils, their families and staff have been.’

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She was with a team of nine children as they presented the hampers to Central Point.

The pupils were given a tour of the facility and had a chance to speak to some of the homeless residents they were helping.

Speaking of the visit, Mrs Fletcher added: ‘When the children were given a tour I think they were pretty shocked and very humbled.

‘When we left it sunk in just how much of a difference the children had made on the lives of these people.’

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The News’ Show Them You Care This Christmas has been a rousing success so far.

Launched last week, it has already seen scores of residents donating clothes, food and toiletries to good causes from across the area.

Others have pledged their time to help voluntary groups supporting those living on the streets.

Hundreds of donations continue to pour into The News’ HQ from kindhearted readers.

The items will be presented to good causes next week.

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The effort was sparked after figures obtained by The News showed there were hundreds of families across the Portsmouth area who would be waking up homeless this Christmas.

The drive has already been backed by MPs and the Tesco Extra store in Fratton.