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Students give back to the community at Christmas

07 December 2022  |  Jill Lundberg  |  Posted in: ,

The outstanding work of ten students in our thriving Charity Club has resulted in over 1,000 food items being donated to StoreHouse, the food bank in Richmond.

The Charity Club was created to enable students to build links with the local community as well as develop their leadership skills. The students came up with an idea to host the ‘All Starz Quiz’ which engaged all students in a quiz during tutor sessions. This has run over a series of weeks and will culminate in a grand final on 16th December. To take part in the quiz, students were invited to bring an item of food to support the initiative and help those in need, especially so close to Christmas.

The students were overwhelmed with the raft of donations, including hundreds of tins of food, pasta, cereal, biscuits and much more. Six members of the Charity Club were honoured to deliver the collection of food to StoreHouse at the Influence Church. They helped Peter Heslop, Community Manager at StoreHouse, stock the shelves and prepare food bags that are given out to those in need on a weekly basis to feed families and single people. They also enjoyed finding out more about the work of the food bank.

Nicola O’Malley, who leads the Charity Club, said: “The students have been an inspiration. Not only have they committed to weekly meetings to plan and organise the whole-school and college project from Years 7 to 13, but they have gone and above and beyond by planning four-weeks’ worth of events leading up to Christmas. Their teamwork, creativity, determination and excellence are tremendous and they are a credit to themselves, their families and Richmond School and Sixth Form College. It has been an honour to supervise this club and enable them to lead on this fantastic opportunity. I hope they can use the skills they have learned to provide further opportunities for the community in the future.”

Tom, in Year 12, said: “Today’s experience was a real eye opener to the struggles of what many families face on a weekly basis. I think it’s an amazing opportunity to help my community by also learning valuable skills that I can use in everyday life, such as support, compassion and teamwork.” Faye, Maddie and Lily added: “The work with StoreHouse has widened our knowledge of how charities support people in our community and really create a sense of unity. We loved selecting items to place in the family packs that will be handed out to families and individuals who are in unfortunate circumstances such as illness, medical issues, single parents or the costs of living crisis.”

Peter Heslop, Community Manager at StoreHouse, said: “We have been blown away with the huge donation of food that the students and staff from Richmond School and Sixth Form College have collected for us. It has been fantastic to hear about the work of the school’s charity group and it has been a privilege to work with them on this project. The students have been really committed to supporting StoreHouse and their dedication has reaped fantastic results which will see many families benefit from their generous donations at this challenging time.”

As well as offering the StoreHouse community foodbank service on Thursdays from 4-6pm, the Influence Church also deliver other projects such as: Warm Winter Scheme (free cold weather supplies – applicants can apply online here), the Elevate Youth Club (Fridays 7-9pm for 11-18 year olds) and Mini Heroes ( 0-4 parent toddler group, Tuesday 9.30 – 11.30am). In addition, the church is hosting an amazing Christmas-themed stay and play event on 20th December for 0-11 year old children, with older siblings welcome. Registration is open online here.

Richmond School and Sixth Form College students are also bringing a huge amount of festive cheer to the community during the Christmas period by providing the musical entertainment at the turning on of Richmond’s Christmas lights, performing at The Station’s Christmas Fayre and the Mayor’s Concert as well as taking part in the school’s Christmas concert and Carol Service. In addition, the town is adorned with students’ stunning Christmas designs which can be enjoyed at the library, the town hall, St Mary’s Church, the Georgian Theatre Royal and Tesco at Catterick Garrison. The students have also designed Christmas cards which will be delivered to the residents and staff at the care homes in Richmond.

Jenna Potter, Headteacher of Richmond School and Sixth Form College, concluded: “I am so proud of all our students who are giving so much to our community this Christmas. This year, more than ever, will be a challenging time for many families and the work of our Charity Club will help those who need additional support. It is wonderful to hear the fabulous music that our students are performing in the run up to Christmas and see the superb Christmas designs that have been created for our community to enjoy.”

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