Students Spread Christmas Cheer
5th January 2018
In the run up to Christmas students from St Bede's and St Joseph's Catholic School and St Benedict’s were busy helping others by collecting for some very important charities at home and abroad.
The School's Lay Chaplain, Chris Copley, said: 'This year, our Advent Appeal was in aid of CAFOD; with each form group raising money to help those in need around the world - the items bought by the forms included Emergency Water and Emergency Shelters to help when disasters strike; Help for Refugee Children and Providing Passports to assist in the various refugee crises and helping to provide Solar Lighting to help CAFOD’s ‘Power to be’ campaign.'
The school's Food Appeal also resulted in the collection of over 750 items of food for local Charities. Many thanks to all the students, parents and staff who donated food to the appeals. The donated food: coffee, tomato and chicken soups, tuna and baked beans was given to the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal for use in their Soup Kitchen, whilst tea bags, cereals and long-life milk were taken to the Bradford Metropolitan Food Bank for distribution to Bradford Families in need of these basic foodstuffs. Secretary of the Bradford Metropolitan Food Bank, Helen Bradshaw, sent this letter of thanks to let the school know how important their contribution was to their local community:
'Dear pupils, staff and supporters of St Bede’s and St Joseph’s Catholic College, I am writing on behalf of Bradford Metropolitan Food Bank to thank your schools very much indeed for the collection you recently brought to the Food Bank. It really was an impressive amount of food and we would like to thank each and every one of you for being so generous. In September 2017 we gave out 983 food bags to vulnerable families in need and 937 bags in October. Unfortunately we only expect the situation to worsen as Universal Credit is rolled out which is why donations such as yours are so vital to our operation. Our team of volunteers (we don’t have any paid members of staff) ensure that the food bags are only given out to professionals working with those in need to make sure they get to those who truly need our support. It is such a sad situation to think that so many families living across Bradford in this day and age literally do not have any food to eat, although it is heartening that the young people of St Bede’s and St Joseph’s college seem to have taken this to heart and clearly put a lot of effort into helping others. Thank you so much for your on-going support – it is truly valued.'
In the days before breaking up for the holidays, the school was asked if they could also support a local charity by making up some 'Hampers of Hope'. These were to contain food items and small toys. As always SBSJ students delivered and many hampers were passed on to Catholic Care to make a big difference to some people’s lives at Christmas.
It's said that charity begins at home, and so the school also pitched in to support the work of Bradford's own local Franciscan Friars of the Renewal at St Patrick's Mission. The school mini-bus was loaded and Mr Walker along with students Dominic and Liam collected and delivered a car boot full of festive goods donated by Wm. Morrison's Supermarket at Girlington. Mr Walker collected the produce from Mr Daniel Fiddler the store manager and took the goods straight to St. Pio Friary in Sedgefield Terrace where they were received by a very grateful Friar. The food will be consumed by some of the 120 homeless men and women that the Friars support throughout the year.
On Thursday 21 December, more than a dozen St Benedict’s students gave up their opportunity to shop or to party and instead came to help look after the people who were queueing for their Christmas Dinner at the St Pio Friary. On a cold morning the students were a credit to themselves and to the school, reaching out to those in need by serving hot drinks and bringing a bit of festive cheer to those who would otherwise have been in every sense 'out in the cold'.