Pupils bring festive cheer

Paradykes Nursery  collected donated items from IKEA for their shoebox appeal.
Paradykes Nursery collected donated items from IKEA for their shoebox appeal.

Pupils at Paradykes Nursery recently sent 52 shoeboxes full of gifts to children in Belarus to enjoy this Christmas, double last year’s amount.

The annual collection is organised by Fay Paris, childcare and development worker at the nursery, to give to the Samaritans Purse charity. It passes the shoeboxes to children across the world. Items collected included hats, gloves, soaps, sponges, toothbrushes, toothpaste, toys, teddys, stationary, hairbrushes, colouring books/pads, crayons, chalks, bouncy balls.

Fay said: “We thought this would be good for the children because they don’t have to fill a full shoebox themselves. It means every family can usually put something in. And all the children can help pack the shoeboxes.

“The children really appreciate being able to help other children. And because it’s child-orientated they can relate to it. They have got a grasp of why they are doing this. It’s a good concept for the children to learn, helping others.

“Last year we had 26 shoeboxes, so it’s a massive jump, it’s overwhelming. One family filled three boxes by themselves, a great effort.”

The collection received a boost from the local IKEA. Fay added: “It was fantastic. They are good at giving. It was an ex-pupil of ours at IKEA that picked up the letter from us. They gave us £360 worth of items, including wind-up torches, finger and hand puppets and pens. I want to say a huge thank you to everybody that helped, all the parents, children, IKEA, ASDA, B&M.

“It’s a nice good will story at Christmas.”