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Homeless people given Christmas hampers by schoolchildren to help them through harsh winter

PUBLISHED: 18:17 18 December 2019 | UPDATED: 18:17 18 December 2019

Claydon High School pupils donated hampers to Ipswich Housing Action Group (IHAG). Picture: IPSWICH HOUSING ACTION GROUP (IHAG)

Claydon High School pupils donated hampers to Ipswich Housing Action Group (IHAG). Picture: IPSWICH HOUSING ACTION GROUP (IHAG)

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When you’re tucking into turkey and opening presents at Christmas time, it can be easy to forget there are some people who have nothing at all. So pupils at Claydon High School did something amazing by dropping off 30 festive hampers to a homeless centre - to help others less fortunate than themselves.

Direct Line workers helped sort the Christmas hampers which Claydon High School pupils donated to Ipswich Housing Action Group (IHAG). Picture: IPSWICH HOUSING ACTION GROUP (IHAG)Direct Line workers helped sort the Christmas hampers which Claydon High School pupils donated to Ipswich Housing Action Group (IHAG). Picture: IPSWICH HOUSING ACTION GROUP (IHAG)

Pupils collected donations of items that Ipswich Housing Action Group's Chapman Centre, in Blackhorse Lane, needed - such as food, essential clothing and toiletries - and making specially-decorated hampers.

Workers from Direct Line then spent the day sorting the donations so they can be given to adults at the walk-in centre, which helps people who are homeless or at risk of being left out on the street.

MORE: Rough sleeping falls in Ipswich - but 'shocking' homelessness will only get worse, town warned

Claydon High School deputy headteacher Chris Simm said: "This is the 10th year we have run this project helping IHAG. The work they do is so important and we are proud to help the homeless people they support.

"The Christmas-themed hampers have been built by year-11 pupils as part of art projects and in their own time."

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He added that it was part of the school's "Claydon Countdown", where pupils works together on projects that will benefit the community.

Claire Moore, team leader at Direct Line, said: "We initially enquired to see if there was anything we could do and they told us helping with sorting the very generous donations from Claydon High School would be perfect.

"There are literally hundreds of items contained within the hampers and it was taking days for the IHAG team to sort. My team and I are able to sort it all in a day putting items into relevant groups and then making sure that use by dates are clearly written on everything.

"It is a real treat to see the creativity of the pupils. We know makes a difference to a really worthwhile local cause."

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Jools Ramsey, IHAG chief executive, said: "We are so grateful to both of these wonderful supporters. It is my first Christmas with the charity and was not prepared in any way for the scale of what Claydon High School creates for us.

"There are some real works of art and imagination in the hampers they have produced. Direct Line's support in sorting the items is really important for us as it means the Chapman Centre team can spend more time directly supporting our clients, which is ultimately what we are all working together to achieve."


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