Keen to lend a helping hand to Father Christmas in any way they can, a Nelson junior school's charity present collection has seen local pupils donate an astonishing 200 presents to go to disadvantaged children.
As part of Cash for Kids' Mission Christmas 2017 - the UK's largest annual Christmas toy appeal - Lomeshaye Junior School set themselves up as a collection point at their premises on Norfolk Street in Nelson, with Headteacher Hayley Holden encouraging children at the school and at neighbouring Pendle Primary Academy, who also took part, to donate to the cause.
Inspired by the charity's message, the children certainly came good. Asked to bring in something for a child of their own age and gender so they got a good range of gifts, the pupils collected a grand total of 200 gifts between them which the charity will collect on Monday, December 18th.
"We wanted to do something a bit different this year in terms of our charity work and we've had a really good response," said Hayley. "The children have really taken it on board. They've been really excited about it, but they've also empathised with children who may not be in the same position as them."
Last year, Mission Christmas generated upwards of £15.5 million in gifts and donations, with the initiative distributing gifts to more than 360,000 disadvantaged children across the UK, leading Lomeshaye's community team launching the event with an assembly about the collection.
With one in four children across the country living in poverty this December, the charity aims to make Christmas more than a luxury that some families simply can not afford - a sentiment that hit home with the children, who took the collection into their own hands.
"We've got the School Council and Pupil Leadership Scheme here, so we've got representatives in each class who come to meetings and who have been keeping me in the loop about everything," said Hayley. "So apart from the assembly at the beginning, it's been very child-driven, and they've taken ownership of it."
As well as contributions from Pendle Primary Academy, the collection was also supported by WIDE (Women Inspiring Dialogue Everywhere), WOW (Women of Whitefield), and the Friends of Pendle Primary Academy, while donors can text MISSION to 70808 to make a £5 donation to the appeal or donate online at https://www.cashforkidsgive.co.uk/donate/one-off/mission-christmas-2017/.