KIND-HEARTED pupils have come to the aid of the homeless with festive packs to make life a little easier on the streets.

Year 5 pupils at Springfield Academy, part of the Education Village, Darlington, have been working on a project called Homeless at Christmas, learning about the challenges facing people who have nowhere to live.

As part of the initiative they have linked up with the charity First Stop and have been filling backpacks with a host of essentials and treats to bring some relief to their plight.

Socks, pants, gloves, hats, scarves, toiletries, including new toothbrushes, hand sanitiser tissues and handcream, chocolates, biscuits, crisps, sweets and paperback books have been collected for the homeless.

Children also made Christmas cards and the packs will be delivered to First Stop which will distribute them among the homeless.

Organised by Year 5 teacher Kelly McManus, she said: “We study homelessness as a topic and thought this would be a nice thing to do. It has been really good and the children have enjoyed it.

“It is important for them to realise the challenges some people in their town face in life and it certainly has helped them appreciate how lucky they are. They have completed some excellent creative writing on the topic and we have completed a leaflet of guidelines for anyone else wanting to help the homeless.”

Pupil Amber Hutchinson said: “It has made us think about these people and hopefully helped make them feel more loved. Many people don’t realise how much they struggle and how much they are ignored. I hope they like what we have given them.”

Springfield Academy pupils have also been on a march to improve their fitness. They have just started completing a Daily Mile in line with a national initiative to get young people more active.

Mrs McManus said: “We reached Newark in the first week and are hoping to get to London during the second as pupils walk the equivalent distance a mile at a time in the playground.”

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