Shoebox appeal a big success

Pupils from St Bede's Catholic Comprehensive School and Byron Sixth Form College who amassed more than 200 shoeboxes for the Samaritans' Purse campaign.

Pupils from St Bede's Catholic Comprehensive School and Byron Sixth Form College who amassed more than 200 shoeboxes for the Samaritans' Purse campaign.

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THOUGHTFUL students amassed more than 200 shoeboxes as part of a festive relief campaign.

Pupils from St Bede’s Catholic Comprehensive School and Byron College, in Peterlee, have proved that even in difficult economic times their generosity is remarkable.

The Shoebox Appeal organised by the Samaritans’ Purse charity has once again been enthusiastically supported by the Westway-based school’s students.

The dozens of shoeboxes, which contain essentials such as toothpaste, toothbrushes and other toiletries, are winging their way to needy youngsters in Romania.

Elsie McGowan, the school’s head of upper school studies, who organised the event, said she was touched and delighted by the response from students.

She said: “It’s heartwarming and rewarding to see students putting their Christianity into action by giving so generously to others whose need is so much greater than their own.

“I am very proud of their efforts.”

Mrs McGowan ran a series of assemblies which showed previous shoeboxes being opened by children in poverty-stricken areas.

She said these clips really hit home that in some parts of the world small gifts can make a big difference.

She added: “The result was that we had more gifts than ever before – we probably had enough gifts for twice as many boxes, yet had to pack them right to the lid as we couldn’t get hold of any more shoeboxes.” Tutor groups arranged their own shoeboxes and they spent lunch and break times wrapping them and putting in personal messages.