November 13, 2020

Christmas: a Time for Giving

The Leighton Park community is reaching out this Christmas with plans to support a range of local charities through initiatives involving everyone from the Year 7s to the Parent and Staff Community (PSC).


A new school-wide opportunity comes in the form of Christmas Family Boxes for Whitley Community Development Association. Natashia Coccia, Assistant Head (Outreach and Partnerships) has been working closely with Tricia Bennett, from Whitley CDA, to understand exactly what would make the greatest difference to the families in need just up the road from our School. Tricia’s campaign is to encourage mums supporting mums, dads supporting dads, in recognition of the fact that parents often give up everything for their children and at Christmas, deserve some recognition for the sacrifices they make all year round. Leighton Park will be anonymously matched with families from Whitley, so that boxes can be donated containing gifts for the adults in a family, together with an activity, such as a board games, which can be played by the recipients’ household together. The PSC, chaired by the enthusiastic Minnie Mohammed, are supporting the project through their network of year group parent representatives, raising awareness and encouraging involvement in the initiative. We are aiming to support 18 families in this way and details will be shared in the eBulletin next Wednesday.


Amicus, our Sixth Form charity, have historically invited students, parents, guardians and staff, to donate new and pre-loved toys, books, and gifts in aid of the Reading Family Aid ‘Toys and Teens’ appeal. Last year’s generous donations made an impressive collection in Old School reception and it was heart-warming to witness the kindness of our families as they gave presents for those who would otherwise have gone without over the festive season. We are delighted to be repeating the opportunity to give and look forward to launching the appeal later this month but in a slightly different Covid-safe way. Due to Reading Family Aid’s changes in recognition of the need to clean and quarantine toys and gifts before distribution, the charity are instead appealing for money which will be used to buy new toys. Amicus are organising a Christmas mufti day from which the proceeds will go to the Toys and Teens Appeal 2020.


Not to be left out, the senior boarding Houses have each identified a charity to support this Christmas and beyond. Reckitt are working with ReadiFood, a local independent food bank charity aiming to make sure no-one goes hungry during the festive season. School House are focusing on Bag2School, a clothes recycling scheme which takes unwanted garments in exchange for cash which can then be donated to another charitable activity, in School House’s case, the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice. Field House has launched a drive to fill Christmas stockings for children aged 0 to 11, for the First Day’s children’s charity, based in Hurst, who aim to make life manageable for families who are struggling with the cost of clothes and equipment for babies and young children.


Christmas is a time for giving and with so many ways to do so we look forward to making the 2020 festivities brighter for everyone.

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