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School Meets Selection Box Challenge

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Once again Bolton School has met the Christmas Hamper challenge put to it by Urban Outreach, who offer help to those in need in the town over the festive period.  Assisting the local charity for the sixth year in succession, this year’s task was to collect, or fundraise for, 2,600 selection boxes, with an average price of £1-2, which would form part of a hamper given to those families most in need. 

Five enthusiastic teams of Y12 helpers, including 26 students from the Girls’ Division and three Y12 boys, managed the project. Each team was set a target of 520 boxes or the equivalent monetary value and they met with their teacher Mrs Entwistle, Head of Community Action, each week for updates. The students had 4 weeks to hit target and they enrolled the help of Junior Girls at Hesketh House, Junior Boys at Park Road as well as pupils from the Senior Girls’ School. 

The teams undertook a range of activities including face painting at the Park Road Christmas Fair, a raffle at Tea at the Riley for neighbours of the school, numerous bake sales, inter-form and year group challenges and a pupil’s mum even got her work colleagues involved who donated a further 40 boxes. In total, 2782 selection boxes were collected as well as a donation of £202.40. 

Mrs Entwistle takes up the story: “Urban Outreach came into School to collect the boxes half way through the campaign as we ran out of storage space, and on the final day they collected 1700 boxes. Park Road, Hesketh House and the Sixth Form formed a human chain as we passed the boxes from school into their van. In addition a group of 15 girls helped to volunteer at the warehouse, we formed part of a production line, each student packing one item in the hamper before sliding it along the table. The girls have really stepped up this year, they were really well organised and managed the project independently. The School was also really generous with their donations.” 

Over the past six years, the School has donated everything from Chocolate mints, Christmas Puddings, Stuffing and Cranberry sauce. A proud Mrs Entwistle said: “We have helped to fill over 5,000 hampers feeding nearly 20,000 people in need in our local community at Christmas. The project is so worthwhile and an excellent way for Bolton School to support others, as well as work with other volunteers in the community. For me, a project like this is what Christmas is all about and it helps to ground me at such a busy time of year, the girls have really appreciated what community spirit is and it has helped them remember that helping others is really what is most important.”

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