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Students Spread the Christmas Spirit

Joshua tells us about the Priory's contribution to Operation Christmas Child this year.

On Monday 12th November, 146 shoe boxes full of gifts, kindly donated by the pupils of The Priory Academy LSST, were delivered to less developed countries to make sure their children enjoy Christmas this year. This was part fo the Operation Christmas Child scheme and could not have been successful without the help of members of Year 12 and 13. Special thanks must go to the following, who helped to promote the project in school, collect the boxes from students and ship them: Emily Blount, Paul Anderson, Claire Procter, Beth Brown, Naomi Turner, Bryony Dowson, Emily Elford, Jessica Gray, Zoe Asher, Laura Williamson, Tabinda Rabbani, Kelly Hall, Emma Tonner, Niamh Caroll, Frankee Thompson, Hayley Baker, Abigail Cragg, Eleanor Bourne, Courtney Thornton, Meghan Ramm, Hannah Pask and Mr Crocker.

Operation Christmas Child began back in 1990 when a man called Dave Cooke, a father himself, saw the horror of children who had been abandoned in Romanian orphanages reported on the news; he then asked his friends to help fill a truck with toys and deliver it to Romania. The response from local people was amazing and a massive £60,000 was raised. Operation Christmas Child was now established as a charity.  


The students of The Priory Academy LSST donated many gifts to the charity by finding an empty shoebox, deciding whether the gifts would be for a boy or a girl then filling their boxes with small toys.  The gifts were then collected with the help of the Samaritans and then sent by car or truck to schools and churches in countries where the toys were needed most. Helpers and volunteers, sometimes staff from the Samaritans, pay for themselves to travel to help distribute the boxes to children who otherwise wouldn’t receive anything all year.

Zoe Asher, an LSST pupil, volunteered at the collection points to receive the boxes and help present assemblies to other year groups to raise awareness of the charity. She said, “I thought it would be a fantastic opportunity to get involved this year.” Bryony Dowson, another LSST pupil, agreed: “I wanted to be involved with this charity in particular because I felt it has the most direct effect for the receivers as it goes straight to the children; nothing is lost along the way”. Bryony also presented assemblies, handed out leaflets and helped at the box collection points.


Operation Christmas Child is really quite simple: find a box, fill it and wrap it up. The charity check it and then send it: it starts off in your hands and ends up in theirs!


Laura Williamson had this to say: “The charity is a scheme to try and provide underprivileged children in African countries with a present for Christmas. The idea is that each shoe box is filled with a few items to try and bring happiness to a child who doesn't have as much as we do and to make people realise what they have.I personally wanted to get involved with this particular charity because I heard about it in lower school and thought that it was an excellent opportunity to help people in need and who are less privileged than myself. Also, as part of the Sixth Form, there is plenty of opportunity to get involved with charity work and the shoe box appeal is a very worthy cause.” Laura also worked hard in helping in encourage pupils to create the boxes and at the collection point.

Last year, the school collected 136 boxes, so we easily surpassed this benchmark! I'm sure that we will collect even more next year!

Joshua Tindall, Year 9