Students from Spalding High School (pictured) have lit up the faces and lives of ill children with a £400 toy bonanza.
Sixth-formers delivered an array of cuddly toys, dolls, books, blankets and other presents to youngsters aged 16 and under on the Amazon Ward and Jungle Assessment Unit at Peterborough City Hospital.
The cash was raised during a collection at the school throughout November and the presents then delivered by sixth-form students and staff just before Christmas.
Deputy head girl Holly Hetherington said: I came up with an idea to raise money and buy toys for the children at Peterborough City Hospital who had to stay in its paediatric ward over the Christmas and New Year period.
“I shared the idea with (head girl) Raghavi Babu, (other deputy head girl) Hannah Darley and the headmistress, Michele Anderson.
“Realising that there were many children who may feel like they were far from people’s thoughts, we collected close to £400 worth of donations which was then used to buy anything from Frozen dolls, Lego sets and headphones to book sets and blankets.
One student told me that it was incredibly important to think of others who are in a less fortunate situation than ourselves, rather than focusing on what we would likeSpalding High School deputy head girl Holly Hetherington
“The mission was then opened up to the entirety of the sixth form and there was a fabulous turn-out of volunteers who helped to wrap the gifts.”
Spalding High School is no stranger to supporting good causes after Year 8 students raised almost £2,300 for charities, including Great Ormond Street Hospital, Cancer Research UK and the Alzheimer’s Society, in 2014.
The school followed this up last May when sixth form students raised £1,000 for victims of the Nepal earthquake and the donated about 1,300 items of tinned food to Agapecare Foodbank in Spalding for the annual Christmas Foodbank Appeal, supported by the Spalding Guardian.
Holly said: “One student told me that it was incredibly important to think of others who are in a less fortunate situation than ourselves
at the moment, rather than focusing on what we would like and that’s why I really wanted to get involved in this project.”
“There was an incredible amount of support from staff members who wholeheartedly involved themselves in the project and some of them gave considerable amounts to it.
“I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the staff and students who completely embraced and supported this idea and it was absolutely wonderful to deliver the presents to the children at Peterborough City Hospital.”
Mrs Anderson said: “This was a wonderful idea from the sixth form team and one that generated an absolutely fantastic response, not just within the sixth form but from the whole school community.
“It makes me incredibly proud to be head of a school where students and staff are so willing to participate and engage in helping the community around us.
“It is also very humbling and I wish to say thank you and well done to everyone involved who really made to the children in hospital for Christmas and New Year.”
Zoe Wilkinson, play specialist coordinator at Peterborough City Hospital, said: “We are very grateful to the pupils from Spalding High School for helping us spread some cheer across Amazon Ward by their gift donations to our young patients.
“The gifts allowed the children to forget about their illness which helped to brighten their hospital stay.”