Tue, 29 Dec 2020
HUNGERFORD school pupils raised a whopping £1,119.66 worth of funds in the last week of term for West Berkshire Youth Counselling Service Time to Talk.
The pupils at John O’Gaunt School also donated supplies and Christmas treats to West Berks Foodbank.
Debi Arden-Hunt, who co-ordinated the effort, said: “Our Christmas fundraisers normally focus on our own school Parent School Association (PSA) during the Hungerford Extravaganza and on hosting our annual community Christmas party for our older residents.
“But in this, no ordinary year, both were, of course, cancelled.”
Nevertheless pupils still wanted to contribute something to the community and Phoebe Cooper, from Year 7, said: “Coronavirus has affected everyone in different ways. We wanted to help both minds and bodies.”
The non-uniform and Christmas jumper day raised £373, but donating via the Greenham Trust’s charity fundraising platform The Good Exchange on its Double Matched Day triple funding event meant donations topped well over £1,000.
Time to Talk service manager Tammy Willsher told the youngsters: “We’re so pleased you chose to support us.
“The money you have raised will help young people just like yourselves, who are having a difficult time.
“This means we can help even more young people.
“Please also remember that if you ever need help, we will be here for you.”
Instead of bringing in tombola prizes for the PSA, pupils donated more than seven enormous crates of food and treats for The West Berks Foodbank.
The foodbank’s Hungerford district centre manager Jennifer Bartter attended the school to thank pupils and to chat to them about the charity’s work as they loaded up the van.
A co-ordinator for Hungerford’s CHAIN Volunteer Service, Ted Angell, later confirmed that the pupils’ donations had been put to good and immediate use in the town.
Meanwhile, the school’s teaching and support staff also provided luxury items in hampers for some of the pupils.
John O’Gaunt School vice principal Corinne Walker said: “It’s been such a tough year for many of our young people; there have been so many disappointments and milestones missed, but they have shown such fortitude, stoicism and understanding.
“We drew names out of a hat and the lucky winners have either a gift for themselves or a hamper to share with their families.”