Bernard Gilpin Primary School goes 'above and beyond' in providing disadvantaged families with £50 festive food vouchers
Bernard Gilpin Primary School has been praised for going “above and beyond what’s expected” after providing its families, whose children are entitled to free school meals (FSM), with a surprise additional £50 worth of food vouchers.
Parent Clare Danielle was left “amazed” at the school’s generosity when children Chloe, 10, and Lewis, six, arrived home from school with the £50 bonus, along with sweets and individual gift reading books for each child.
This was in addition to the standard FSM Heron Foods vouchers.
Following the generous gesture, Clare, 33, felt compelled to contact the Echo.
She said: “This is such a generous thing to do. It’s tough times and we are not as badly off as some families, but this extra money is a big help over the Christmas period. It’s an amazing thing for the school to do out of their own money.
"There’s a baseline you expect from your children’s school and teachers but they always seem to take the opportunity to go the extra mile. They’re an amazing school who always go above and beyond.
"To be honest, as parents we’ve just come to expect it, which is why I wanted to contact the Echo to ensure the school gets the recognition it deserves.”
The vouchers can be used at local businesses in Houghton, including Fareway meat suppliers and the Food Weighouse and Clare believes that for some families it could “make the difference between eating Christmas dinner or not”.
She added: “Food is not cheap and these vouchers could help to pay for a turkey or beef joint and all your vegetables to make a traditional Christmas dinner.”
The vouchers are just the latest in a series of generous gestures including a subsidised end of term festive trip to the cinema to watch Clifford the Big Red Dog.
Clare is so pleased with the education and care provided by Bernard Gilpin that she has continued to send her children to the school despite moving several miles away into Sunderland city.
She said: “I’m always bragging about the school to other parents. The things they have done for my family in the last few years have been amazing.”
To help alleviate holiday hunger concerns, Together for Children Sunderland is continuing to run its Holiday and Food Activities programme over the festive period.