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Students Complete Christmas Shoebox Appeal

Year 7 students from Folkestone Academy have recently completed their Christmas Shoebox Appeal with great success. They collected food and gift donations for the Rainbow Centre, a non-profit organisation in Folkestone that provides support and hope to individuals and families experiencing deprivation and hardship.

Our students (who are all aged eleven or twelve years old) promoted the event with their peers and their tutors, collecting a large array of donations from home and elsewhere. As a result they were able to put together over twenty boxes of food and six bags of clothing for the charity. Donations included: sleeping bags; hats, gloves and scarves; tins of food; sweets and biscuits; and items for pets too. Students also designed and wrote lovely Christmas cards with truly thoughtful messages.

Sarah Elliott from the Rainbow Centre attended our recent Year 7 assembly, and was presented with the Academy’s donations. She explained to our students how their support will help people in need at this time of year.

The contents of the shoeboxes will be used to help the clients of the Rainbow Centre and the guests of the Folkestone Churches’ Winter Shelter.  The food items will be used in the Shepway Foodbank where there is an ever-increasing demand. 

Every donation has made a real difference; since September the Rainbow Centre has fed over 600 individuals who otherwise would have gone hungry. We are very grateful for the generosity of our community.

Ali Chambers, CEO of Folkestone Rainbow Centre comments that “we are immensely grateful for the support of Folkestone Academy towards the work of the Rainbow Centre.  We are a small charity and I can assure everyone who kindly gave to us, that all the donations will be used to help some of the most vulnerable members of our community.  This year is the 10th year we have run the Winter Shelter, but sadly we don’t see this as a cause of celebration.  The need is still as great as it was a decade ago and we can only continue to provide the services which are so desperately needed, with the help of the churches, individuals and schools such as Folkestone Academy.  From everyone at the Rainbow Centre, we would like to say a huge thank you!”

Lilly McLaughlin, Head of Year 7, says that “we have been blown away by the generosity and empathy from pupils and staff towards the project, receiving a heart-warming response which we know will have a significant impact on others in our local community.”                                                                                                                                

Sophie Phillips, Year 7 Tutor who instigated the Christmas Shoebox Appeal added that “our Year 7 students have made a fantastic effort to contribute and give to the community at this time of year. For most, Christmas is one of the most special times of the year, but for some it is deemed to be the loneliest. This is where our work within the Academy will make a difference and provide the homeless with something warm, something new and something tasty.”