A group of amazing and inspiring year 7 students from Longdendale Hugh School in Hollingworth, took altruism above and beyond during the last half term break, when they raised a sizeable amount of money and collected a huge amount of donations in support of two homeless charities.

As part of the Year 7 ‘Project Curriculum’ students were given an open brief of how to enrich peoples’ lives in their community, especially at Christmas time. Mrs Linari’s group, 7P, decided to fundraise to support homeless people as they felt that Christmas would be a particularly difficult time for people living on the streets. Not only due to the harsh winter weather conditions, but also the sad memories this time of year can provoke.

Some of the students were so motivated that they gave up nearly every evening and weekend to go into shops and businesses to ask for donations. Halle, Charlotte, Shaya, Aimee, Isabel and Isabella, composed well crafted letters and gave impressive speeches to gain the interest and support of many small and large companies; which brought in generous donations from big companies such as Marks and Spencer, Next, Costa, Tesco, B&M, the Co Op, Grace and Cole, Macdonald’s and many more.

In addition to the donations of items such as gloves, toiletries and food, the students also raised an incredible £650 in cash. They also ran a raffle and tombola using some of the gifts donated  raised extra money, resulting in donating over £700 to deserving charities. They also baked gingerbread biscuits, decorated bags and made cards so that they could give the homeless a Christmas gift. The project was designed to be totally student-led, so they had to demonstrate excellent teamwork, leadership and communication abilities as well developing their confidence.

On Friday 14th December, a number of teachers accompanied six of the students along with their parents, to the Church of the Apostles in Manchester City Centre, to see firsthand the work undertaken within ‘The Rolling Shelter’- a charity who works in conjunction with the Manchester Mayor’s charity, ‘A Bed Every Night’.

At the Church, they delivered the donations and the cheque for the money raised. They also brought food and decorated the hall to provide a Christmas party for the homeless people, who would be using the shelter that evening. Working as a team, they set up the beds and facilities and their hard work and professionalism was recognised and praised by the charity workers and the Vicar

On Thursday 20th December, 12 year 7 students, Halle, Shaya, George, Jessica, Charlotte, Reece, Isabella, Alice, Katie, Katie, Aimee and Isabel along with two year nines, Phoebe and Gabrielle, were accompanied by teachers to the Wellspring in Stockport.

The Wellspring is a charitable organisation who also supports homeless people by providing shelter, medical care, warm meals, showering facilities, mental health support and supplies. At the centre, the students handed over all the donations they had collated to the centre volunteers. They also distributed their beautiful Christmas gifts to the some of the homeless and attended a talk from one of the volunteers.

Receiving a warm thank you from the homeless people themselves, it was extremely moving to see the direct impact the hard work and effort the young students had put in, actually reaching a final success.

Mrs Linari concluded, “We are so proud of all of the students for their contributions, hard work and commitment. They have well and truly enriched the lives of homeless people in our community. It has been a great achievement.

Well done everyone!”