‘Nice to know we’re making a difference’

English Martyrs sixth form students(left to right) Hannah Picknett, Phillip Riley and Becky Bainton pictured with some of the shoeboxes.
English Martyrs sixth form students(left to right) Hannah Picknett, Phillip Riley and Becky Bainton pictured with some of the shoeboxes.

KINDHEARTED students have done their bit to light up Christmas for dozens of orphans in Africa and Eastern Europe.

For the last 10 years, staff and students at English Martyrs RC School and Sixth Form College, in the town, have packed shoeboxes full of goods as part of Operation Christmas Child, a nationwide appeal to help needy children throughout the world.

Hundreds of shoeboxes have been sent from the school, in Catcote Road, to orphanages in third-world countries, complete with toys, books, food and messages of goodwill.

This year the students continued to support the cause and filled 39 shoeboxes which have now been sent off in time for Christmas.

Sandy Brown, English Martyrs sixth form support officer, said: “Regardless of how big or small, it’s nice to know we are making a difference.

“Every year we get sent a film of the kids opening their shoeboxes and their little faces are absolutely adorable, it does give us a lot of pride and pleasure.

“I think it makes our students realise just how lucky they are.”

Mrs Brown praised the students at the school and sixth form for supporting the appeal every year.

She admitted their total is slightly down this year compared to what they normally donate, but was still delighted to be able to send off 39 shoeboxes.

“We always get a good response and I would like to say thanks to all the students who have got involved this year,” added Mrs Brown.

“Most of the children who receive the donations are orphans who, other than the shoeboxes, will get nothing at all for Christmas.

“It’s nice that they have something to open at Christmas time.”