Kind-hearted pupils from a South Tyneside school set up their own grocery shop as they helped people worse off than themselves.
Shay Wright, Lenny Wheeler and Cameron Oughton, of Hebburn Comprehensive School, based in Campbell Park Road, decided they wanted to make a difference when they heard about the rise in people using food banks.
They completed a Key Stage 1 project with The Key charity, securing funding of £250, which enabled them to set up their collection and organise fundraising activities.
The Year 9 pupils collected 68 boxes and bags of food, as well as a donation of £160, which they delivered to drop-in centre Hospitality and Hope, based in Hampden Street Operations Centre, in South Shields.
Claire Sharp, head of RE and The Key facilitator at the school, said: “The pupils showed how much they care about their community, and expressed real sadness at the fact that so many of their neighbours have to rely on food banks to feed their families.
“I am exceptionally proud of everything they have achieved.”
The crusade to help started following a successful food bank collection last Christmas, when pupils decided to offer their support to Hospitality and Hope.
After securing the funding to set up their shop, the pupils headed to supermarket Asda to buy tinned products and other dried foods, and then opened up their own grocery shop at their school, selling the items to fellow pupils, who could donate them to the food bank collection.
The shop raised £80, with a further £80 raised after the boys set up a temporary sweet shop in school.
They then smashed their target of gathering 30 boxes of food for Hospitality and Hope, delivering 68.
Along with fellow class members, they visited the food bank last week to deliver their donation and a cheque for £160, while they also learned about the history of Hospitality and Hope, as well as the organisation’s plans for the future.
Those plans include the launch of a clothes bank and a cafe near Chichester Metro station.
The pupils are now planning to start a new project to help support the clothes bank.