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School Rises to Fizzy Crisp-Mas Hamper Challenge

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Year 12 students at Bolton School have been working hard to raise money for and collect 9,600 bags of crisps or cans of pop to donate to Urban Outreach’s Christmas Hamper Appeal. The charity, enlisting help from across the region, is aiming to create 1200 hampers for the town’s neediest households. The Junior Girls were also keen to take part in the campaign and filled their Grub Tub with over 250 bags of gold coins, enough for every child who will receive a hamper this year. 

Mrs Entwistle, Head of Community Action at Bolton School, takes up the story: “The Year 12 students have been amazing. A record number of 37 students took part in the challenge, split into five teams. In a total of 3 weeks from launch to deadline they were able to encourage the School to donate 2270 bags of crisps and 514 cans of pop. In addition they raised £941.78 through bag packing at supermarkets, cake sales, a raffle at Tea at the Riley, a craft sale, a FIFA video game challenge, a stall at the Junior Boys’ Christmas Fair and through other donations. They also secured a contribution of over 600 small bottles of Coke from Coke! With the money collected, over the course of the weekend just gone, I was able to place an order at Tesco for 2530 more bags of crisps and 3386 cans of pop to meet the target we were set by Urban Outreach this year. A remarkable achievement!”

Mrs Entwistle and colleagues filled the Bolton school mini bus to the top, with help from staff at Tesco and delivered the last of the goods to the warehouse in Bolton ready for packing. There was even enough money left over to buy a further 182 bottles of Shloer.

Dave Bagley, Chief Executive of Urban Outreach, said: “It is another incredible effort.  I know I can always count on Bolton School.  Once I set Mrs Entwistle a target, she and her students match it without fail!” 

Sixth Form student Victoria Jolley, who played an integral role in organising events, said: “It has been a privilege to help out with this activity and knowing our work will make someone’s Christmas just that little bit better gives you a lot of satisfaction.”

Huzaefah Sapra, another key fundraiser, agreed: “I have been doing a fair bit of volunteering outside school in Year 12 but this event also appealed to me. As it was all done in School you could dedicate a good deal of time and effort to it. It has been good to collaborate with the Girls’ Division and it has helped develop all of our organisational skills.” 

The town is once again coming together to set a new record for the number of hampers compiled; each one costs about £45 and will include a range of seasonal items — from crackers and selection boxes to chicken, potatoes and all the trimmings.

Businesses have pledged to donate thousands of items to the campaign and significant contributions are expected from Bolton Council, St Catherine’s Academy, Keoghs and churches and charities throughout the town.

Mr Bagley said he was overwhelmed by the support which the appeal has received by Bolton people.

He said: "It is fantastic that so many people get involved. Tens of thousands of people will be involved in helping put them together, and we hope that about 4,500 people will benefit from it."

People do not ask to receive the hampers, they are nominated by organisations such as churches and community groups who will then help to hand them out just before Christmas, on December 23.

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Sixth Form Girls and Boys and Junior Girls help load up the Urban Outreach van with crisps and pop for the Christmas hampers

Sixth Form Girls and Boys and Junior Girls help load up the Urban Outreach van with crisps and pop for the Christmas hampers

Four key Sixth Form helpers lend a hand

Four key Sixth Form helpers lend a hand

A job well done