School packages up hampers filled with food and toys for Sunderland’s refugee families

Hill View Infants made hamper donations to Bede Tower Global Cafe with refugee Miaad Hajianfar and assistant Pastor Daniel Alcock.
Hill View Infants made hamper donations to Bede Tower Global Cafe with refugee Miaad Hajianfar and assistant Pastor Daniel Alcock.

A school has rallied round to ensure refugee families staying in Sunderland will have a Christmas filled with kindness.

Hill View Infant Academy has worked with the food bank based at Bede Tower, in Burdon Road, for around a year and decided to put together hampers for it to hand out to those who turn to it for help during the festive time.

Hill View Infants children James Newton, six, and Isla Caruthers, seven, are among the children who visited the Bede Tower Global Cafe's food bank store.

Hill View Infants children James Newton, six, and Isla Caruthers, seven, are among the children who visited the Bede Tower Global Cafe's food bank store.

Each class put together a package to hand out, with toys also added in so that youngsters would not go without a gift.

As part of the project they work alongside the church’s Global Cafe, which is a meeting point for British and international students and holds a host of activities to bring people together.

Karen Ridley, one of the school’s teachers and its international schools co-ordinator, said: “I think it’s important we think about those who have less than us, especially when it’s in your own community.

“People think about refugees being in far away places, but that’s not the case and they are our neighbours here in Sunderland.

People think about refugees being in far away places, but that’s not the case and they are our neighbours here in Sunderland.

Karen Ridley

“We have worked a lot with Bede Tower which has a food bank as part of its Global Cafe and helps refugee families living in Sunderland who might need some help, but we also put in some toys for children.

“Our school council took them down and met one of the pastors and also spoke to an Iranian refugee, who was able to tell them about his experiences of living in Iran, the colours of its flag and was able to answer their questions.

“They also looked at where it was on a map and was able to talk to them about why he could not longer live in Iran.

“We’ve also been doing a lot of worm with Amnesty International as we learned about refugees.”

Samuel Errington , five, and Abby Bell, seven, offer  hamper donations to Bede Tower Global Cafe, pictured with refugee Miaad Hajianfar.

Samuel Errington , five, and Abby Bell, seven, offer hamper donations to Bede Tower Global Cafe, pictured with refugee Miaad Hajianfar.

The school also donated its harvest festival collection to the food bank following its celebrations.