Children from Ripley Endowed School with their gift boxes
Children from Ripley Endowed School with their gift boxes

School ‘gifts’ kindness to local charity clients

9 December 2020

Children from Ripley Endowed School will be spreading kindness to people in need in Ripley and the surrounding area this Christmas.

The primary aged school children have donated over 50 gift boxes to local charity, the Harrogate Easier Living Project (HELP). These will be distributed to some of their befriending clients in the local area, as well as to families who the charity has been supporting over the year.

Every year the school, alongside All Saints’ Church in Ripley, supports a variety of local charities. When the school was given some free gift boxes it prompted the idea for the children to fill them with presents to spread some joy among local people.

Revd. Paul Harford from the church suggested getting in touch with HELP to distribute them among its clients.

Andy Storr, Help at Home support worker with the Christmas gift boxes
Andy Storr, Help at Home support worker with the Christmas gift boxes

Each box has been thoughtfully themed by the children and their families with gifts likely to appeal to certain age groups or sexes.

Mr Williams, Base Leader at the school said:

We are really pleased to be able to support HELP this year as we have not been able to do many of our usual activities in the community like our monthly pensioners’ lunch and community carol service.

So it’s great to be able to put in to practice the Christian values of our school at such an important time of the year.

The children were so enthusiastic, and we have been blown away by the generosity shown at what is a difficult time for many this year.

HELP is part of Harrogate and District Community Action (HADCA), which supports voluntary and community action across the district. When the pandemic broke in March, the charity set up its ‘Here to HELP’ response service to assist those who are struggling to stay safe and well at home. To date its army of volunteers have helped local people who have been shielding of self-isolating with nearly 5,000 practical tasks. The charity has also been offering emotional support for those experiencing feelings of isolation whilst having to stay at home.

Frances Elliot, CEO of HADCA added:

We know Christmas is likely to be a little more challenging for most of us this year.  For the people we support, a combination of emotional stress and financial hardship in the wake of Covid-19 is likely to make it especially difficult. The gift boxes are a lovely way to let the recipients know others are thinking of them at this time. We would like to thank the children, families and staff of Ripley Endowed School for this kind gesture.


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