14th December 2021 — Pupils from a Chichester school put on their Santa hats to hand over hundreds of presents and gifts from their minibus-sleigh to local charity
Alongside many small businesses and families across West Sussex, children, parents and school staff from Westbourne House School have been gathering Christmas gifts to help the charity My Sister’s House, who are holding three gifting days this week for families in need. The unwrapped gifts enable families to come and chose Christmas presents for their children who might otherwise have to go without. The parents are also encouraged to choose a gift for themselves, and they are given a bag of toiletries and a food voucher.
My Sister’s House CEO Julie Budge said: “We are so grateful to Westbourne House School and all those who have supported us. We have 350 families booked in to visit the centre and every gift donated will go to a family in need. This huge act of generosity gives women and families hope when the chips are down because they know there are people in the community who care about them.
“Christmas can put so much pressure on families - it’s a lovely thing to give and reduce their stress. Thank you all so much.”
Helen Barker, who heads up the Charity Committee at Westbourne House School, said: “We are really pleased we have been able to help, and we are very grateful to My Sister’s House for welcoming us at the The Track in Bognor where the families will come to select their children’s gifts. It was very important our pupils got to see where the presents go, and see and hear what it will mean to these families.”
Year 8 pupil, Archie Brown, said: “It was incredibly moving to see the piles of presents that will be given to children that really need them.”
Year 8 pupil, Elizabeth Langford, said: “I’m so thankful to be able to give a present like that at Christmas time.” Year 8 pupil Caitlin Wilmot added: “It was lovely to see how generous our local community is.”
Westbourne House School supports three different charities every two years. The children vote after finding out what the charities do and they chose one national, one international and one local charity, and every year they support a different charity at Christmas.