Castletown Community Primary School shows the true meaning of Christmas with donation of nearly 400 presents for disadvantaged children

Pupils at Castletown Community Primary School have been showing the true meaning of Christmas by donating £1,500 worth of brand new presents to disadvantaged children.

Monday, 13th December 2021, 4:55 am

The money has been used to purchase nearly 400 presents for disadvantaged children – who otherwise may not receive any gifts – to open on Christmas morning.

Some presents were donated by staff at the school while parents were also asked not to buy teachers end of term presents but to instead purchase a Christmas toy for the appeal.

Additional presents were also then purchased using money from a range of school fundraising events including sponsored reading, Christmas movie nights, non-uniform days and various sports challenges.

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Headteacher Lee Duncan said: “Everyone at Castletown Primary pride themselves on our school values that include supporting, caring and sharing with one another.

"I’m so proud of our pupils, parents, staff and the whole school community who have come together to support such a worthy cause. It’s lovely to think that a few extra smiles will be had this Christmas.”

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The initiative was promoted by the school’s Pupil Well-being Leaders.

(left to right) Headteacher Lee Duncan, teacher Julie Stevens and Nick Hall from the Salvation Army with pupils Amy McMahon, Lucy Kemp, Kayla Jones, Megan Sewell, Ridley Coombs and Ryan Herron.

Year 6 leader Amy McMahon, 10, said: "During Christmas it can be really hard for those who can't afford things. Our well-being team in school are here to make sure nobody feels alone, both physically and mentally."

Fellow leader Ryan Herron, also 10, added: "We are like secret Santa for other children who don't have much. We want to help lots of children around Sunderland."

The school wanted to ensure the gifts were of “good quality”, and presents children can look forward to opening on Christmas morning include board games, scooters and electronic devices.

Riley Coombs, 10, said: “Some people don't have a lot and need some help. As a well-being team and as a school, we wanted to do something."

Megan Sewell, also 10, added: " As a well-being team, we inspired the rest of our school to help children across Sunderland. We raised money to buy toys to help others. Everyone should have something at Christmas."

The presents have been collected by the Southwick Salvation Army, who will distribute the toys.

Case Worker Nick Hall said: “As in previous years, we are anticipating that this year’s appeal will ensure over 1000 vulnerable children will receive presents. Our role is to facilitate the good nature of our community in supporting and helping known families who would otherwise struggle this Christmas.

“We are extremely grateful to Castletown Primary School who are, once again, helping to support such an important cause. We have an ongoing relationship with the school and are always impressed at how much the Castletown school community pulls together to support good causes throughout the year.

"I would personally like to thank all of the pupils for their hard work and for highlighting the true meaning of Christmas.”

The school’s collection was inspired as part of Sun FM’s Toy Appeal. Anyone who would like to contribute to the appeal can purchase a toy and drop it off at the donation point in the Bridges Shopping Centre.

The deadline for any toy donations is Sunday December 17.

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