Headteacher Chrissie Millwood explained: “We had the idea to give back to the community this Christmas. We wanted to make those who receive the boxes feel appreciated at a time when some do not have anybody to turn to. We decided to do this by researching and reaching out to a residential home in Crawley; we chose Greensleeves assisted living in Southgate.
“It started when the care home was contacted, by our Charity Officer, and asked if they wanted to be a part of our charity initiative this holiday season. From there, basic information about the residents was collected.
“As a school, all tutor groups from Years 7-10 were given a shoe box and an information sheet that told them which resident they would be creating a gift package for, and what their interests and favourite things were. This would allow the tutor group to get the resident gifts that were personal to them and their likes.
“This simple gesture that started with some shoe boxes and an idea, turned into a huge success, with the school community coming together to give back and make someone feel appreciated this festive season. Letters and cards were also written to the residents, so the tutor groups could introduce themselves and wish their residents happy holidays personally.
“They hope to form a more permanent link with Greensleeves for the future, reaching out all year round and making this gift initiative an annual event.”
A spokesperson for the Diocese of Chichester said today: “It's really encouraging to hear of these pupils looking out for others.
“Although this is traditionally a time for celebrating the birth of Jesus it can also be a time of challenge for many for a variety of reasons. Many of our schools and churches across the Diocese are reaching out to their communities at this time and even more so with the uncertainties brought about by the new Covid variant. We wish everyone a happy and safe Christmas. ”