St Bede's foodbank bonanza a credit to pupils

By Patrick Hart

'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'
Matthew 25:40 

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is the power of what happens when we stand together in solidarity and help others. During the first lockdown, the young people of St Bede’s Catholic High School in Ormskirk saw neighbour help neighbour in a variety of ways. So it followed that during the autumn pupils worked hard to ensure this community spirit continued, with kindness and compassion flowing from these endeavours.

Pupils co-ordinated a foodbank appeal in which the school, business and Church communities worked together to support those struggling through the pandemic, with students across all year groups contributing.

Pupils Amelia Hobin, Lucy Toner and Dulcie Jackson met the manager of grocery store Booths to help secure donations and support, including raffle prizes. Similarly Evie Caddick and Emmie Glover held a fruitful meeting at Morrisons. Both supermarkets were also delighted with the children's suggestion of a 'donate item to local foodbank' button at the online shopping checkout. Year 9 pupils later visited Booths and dressed the school’s trolley for food donations and collections, and ultimately three trolleys' worth of food were delivered to the foodbank.    
A shining example of generosity 
Pupil Hannah Dykes, meanwhile, worked together with the Aughton Women’s Institute and their foodbank appeal as part of her Faith in Action Award. Hannah gathered a wide range of Christmas food, toiletries and gifts that would benefit the local community. Her efforts amounted to a remarkable: 41 selection boxes, 13 Advent calendars, 14 boxes of mince pies, 6 large tubs of Celebrations, 7 other boxes of chocolates as well as numerous other cakes, biscuits and chocolate offerings. Hannah continues to be a shining example of generosity and initiative – a real role model.
Christmas cards of welcome
In October, St Bede's also organised donations to help refugees in the local community. While the donations themselves were hugely appreciated, the letters of warmth and welcome that accompanied them really touched the recipients.

In light of this, every form class sent a school Christmas card (designed by pupil Amber Wells) with their own bespoke note to several refugee detention centres. We hoped that these acts of welcome and solidarity might illustrate our support and friendship for those forced to leave homes and families to escape war, persecution or natural disasters. We also hope that everything we do at St Bede’s has Christ at its centre.