Pupils at Eden Boys’ Leadership Academy, Manchester are offering support to people in need as part of a special winter campaign of giving.

The COVID-19 pandemic has meant a year of challenge and hardship for many, but pupils at the school were still determined to make a difference to Manchester’s homeless population.

As part of their Festive Winter Gift Programme, the school chose to support the Booth Centre, a local community centre run with and for people affected by homelessness. Food items and cash were also donated to other community causes including the Khizra Mosque Food Bank.

Pupils and parents at the school raised in excess of £2,200 for the charities by giving personal weekly donations and asking extended family members to support the cause online. In addition, Mrs Kiran Hussain, a member of staff at the school, baked a wonderful winter themed cake which was auctioned raising £280. The winning bid was a joint bid from the school’s Governing Body.

Gift boxes for people in need

The school also joined with other Star Academies schools to take part in ‘Food for All Week’. From 7th to 13th December, all 29 schools across the Star Academies multi-academy trust aim to distribute 50,000 food parcels and meals to those experiencing food poverty.

Pupils also donated items for gift boxes to be given to people seeking help from the Booth Centre. Pupils donated disposable cartons, cups and cutlery, toiletries, warm winter clothing, arts and crafts materials, and essential food and drinks.

Shabir Fazal, Principal at Eden Boys’ Leadership Academy, Manchester, said that this year’s Festive Winter Gift campaign had been hugely important to both pupils and staff.

He said: “Many people in Manchester have faced hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially those experiencing homelessness. Our pupils have worked with their usual determination to help make a difference in times of need.

“This year, we chose to support a number of charities including The Booth Centre, a local homeless charity which provides a warm welcome, and aims to help homeless people rebuild their lives.

“As a school, we think it is vital that our pupils make a contribution to their local community. Our annual Festive Winter Gift Programme provides us with an opportunity to focus our efforts and help as many people as possible.

“We are very grateful to all our parents, pupils and staff for their support in raising an amazing £2,263.01, donating over 2,000 items of food for the foodbank as well as lots of warm clothing for homeless people. We look forward to continuing to make a difference through our giving campaigns in the new year.”