Give gifts to food­bank not us, say teach­ers

Manchester Evening News - - NEWS - By EMMA GILL [email protected] @Fam­i­lyManc

TEACH­ERS at a pri­mary school want par­ents plan­ning to buy them Christ­mas gifts to give to a food­bank in­stead.

Becky Wood, head at Parklee Com­mu­nity School in Ather­ton, is en­cour­ag­ing par­ents to make dona­tions to Ather­ton and Leigh Food­bank.

In a let­ter she said: “Christ­mas is nearly upon us and al­though it is one of our favourite times of the year in school it can be in­cred­i­bly stress­ful for par­ents/car­ers.

“Af­ter chat­ting to staff we would like to take the op­por­tu­nity to say while we are in­cred­i­bly grate­ful for gifts we would like to do some­thing dif­fer­ent this year and ask you not to buy us gifts.

“In­stead we would love you to do­nate an item to the food­bank – you can bring this into school in the last week and we can take some chil­dren and pass them over to fam­i­lies who may not be able to buy in all the ex­tra good­ies this year.”

Miss Wood ex­plained why staff took the de­ci­sion.

She said: “A lot of par­ents are re­ally strug­gling and ac­tu­ally we know that what’s spent on a box of choco­lates for us, could be a Christ­mas present that a child might not get. We have an aw­ful lot of fam­i­lies us­ing the food­bank and buy­ing gifts for us is just an ex­tra stress they don’t need.”

As well as dis­tribut­ing food­bank vouch­ers to par­ents, the War­dour Street school is also a col­lec­tion point for the Mis­sion Christ­mas Cash for Kids char­ity ap­peal, which fam­i­lies there also ben­e­fit from.

Becky added: “The num­ber of fam­i­lies strug­gling here is more than we’ve ever had be­fore. So when we’re ask­ing for na­tiv­ity cos­tumes, Christ­mas jumper days and dona­tions for this and that, we just felt we needed to have a bit of per­spec­tive and not put par­ents un­der so much pres­sure.

“We have lots of staff and in some of the early years classes they can have five or six adults some­times and the chil­dren want to get some­thing for each of them.

“Hope­fully this will give some­thing back to the chil­dren and a sim­ple home­made thank you card to us would be much more ap­pre­ci­ated.”

Ather­ton and Leigh Food­bank said the ‘lovely’ ges­ture would be ‘a big help to the lo­cal com­mu­nity.’

Parklee Com­mu­nity School pupils with dona­tions for their lo­cal food­bank

David Bel­lamy

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