Kind-hearted Murray Park pupils and staff make sure no one goes hungry this Christmas

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Pupils helped to organise the food bank for those struggling in the cost-of-living crisis at the Mickleover school

Generous pupils and staff at a Derby school are spreading some festive joy as they make sure no one goes without this Christmas.

Murray Park Community School, in Mickleover, has been collecting food, essentials and even a little Christmas treat to deliver to those in their community that are struggling as the cost-of-living crisis continues.

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The foodbank is supported and coordinated by some of the Year 11 pupils who help collect the food, bag it up and sort it ready for distributing.

Murray Park Year 11 pupils Peyton Giles, Sophie Arnold and Erin MacPhail with the food parcels readyMurray Park Year 11 pupils Peyton Giles, Sophie Arnold and Erin MacPhail with the food parcels ready
Murray Park Year 11 pupils Peyton Giles, Sophie Arnold and Erin MacPhail with the food parcels ready

This is something they have done since the first lockdown back in 2020 when they sent out food parcels every week to those who were struggling. This was not feasible when the pupils returned back to school but they have continued to do it every Christmas and summer.

This Christmas they will be sending out 29 parcels. Kind-hearted parents help to fund the parcels through the school’s foodbank account as well as fund-raising in school through activities such as non-uniform day.

Students and staff then arrived at school armed with donations to fill the bags. The families in need of the extra support are identified by the school’s heads of year and pastoral staff, with a few families getting in touch themselves to say they are struggling.

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Some have been on the list since the foodbank was first started, some have been added and others have left as their situation has improved.

Each family gets five bags – one of tinned items, pasta and rice; a second with cereals, milk, sugar, coffee and biscuits; one with fruit and vegetables; one with toiletries and a final one with Christmas presents.

Jan Woolley, who co-ordinated the foodbank, said: “It’s sad that we have to do it but it just makes me feel better that I know the children whose parents are struggling have something to make the Christmas holiday a bit better.

“It’s really good to see the pupils giving something back to the school and helping other people that may not be as well off as they are.”

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Year 11 pupils have been dedicating their time, alongside studying for their GCSEs, to make sure no-one goes hungry this Christmas.

Peyton Giles said: “I have a very big family so we all have to share food and stuff. I like to help other people out and I aspire to do nursing or work as a police officer. I want to help other people.”

Sophie Arnold said: “It’s nice to know I can do something good for other people.”

Erin MacPhail added: “I like to be able to help people with things they can’t help themselves with. It’s nice to be able to work in a team with people I go to school with every day to help people who are in need.”

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