Extending a helping hand at Christmas

Southmoor Academy giving homeless a helping hand.
Southmoor Academy giving homeless a helping hand.
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Young people and children have been extending the hand of friendship at Christmas.

Students from Southmoor Academy spent the run-up to the end of term raising cash and goods for charity.

Southmoor Academy giving a helping hand to others.

Southmoor Academy giving a helping hand to others.

Sunderland Children’s West Centre raised £400 to help the homeless, and the students at East Durham College raised £150 for the Salvation Army’s present appeal.

At Southmoor Academy, in Ryhope Road, the young people raised money by holding a Christmas jumper and festive headwear day.

The money raised was split in two, with half going to support disadvantaged children from the community and half donated to the Phoenix Unit at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Liam Clark, a teacher at Southmoor, said: “Alongside this, students have been completing the annual tins appeal, an inter-house competition that is now a strong tradition in the school community.

Our students never fail to go above and beyond.

Steve Garrett

“This year a massive amount of tins were raised, over 1,785 tins were brought into school by students. The tinned food will be donated to a charity, where it will be used to feed homeless people from across Sunderland.”

Steve Garrett, principal of the academy, said: “Whatever charitable work we do at the academy, our students never fail to go above and beyond. Our tins appeal has been running for a number of years and 2015 has been the biggest and best with almost 1,800 tins being donated.

“Our pupils feel particularly proud of supporting a valuable local cause at this time of year.”

The cash raised at Sunderland Children’s West Centre, was used to buy a bumper package of food, treats and toiletries for the men and women of Swan Lodge, the homeless unit in Sunderland, to ensure they have the best Christmas possible.

East Durham College students helping others at Christmas.

East Durham College students helping others at Christmas.

Warren Barnett, a member of the team who did the food shop, said: “Christmas is a time when most people find their finances are stretched, so the generosity of our parents and carers at Sunderland Children, donating such a large amount of money, really is heartwarming.

“To see how that money will be used was a lovely experience for us and an opportunity to see what a wonderful job the workers at Swan Lodge do to support vulnerable men and women from Sunderland and the North East.”

Students from East Durham College’s health and social care courses organised raffles, sold cupcakes and collected change in buckets to raise cash for The Salvation Army’s Christmas present appeal.