Pupils from Barnes Junior School celebrated their victory on Thursday after beating construction giants Willmott Dixon in a gingerbread house decorating competition. The event was run by homelessness charity Oasis Community Housing and marked the launch of their Giving a Home Christmas appeal.

Three teams from the Sunderland primary school battled it out against the professional builders at the charity’s homeless drop-in centre Basis@Sunderland. The competition was fierce but a team from Barnes Juniors managed to claim the victory. The Mayor of Sunderland Cllr Lynda Scanlan who  attended the event to judge the overall winners said: “It’s been fantastic to attend the Giving a Home appeal launch today and see the local community rallying together to help end homelessness. Oasis Community Housing do such fantastic work and supporting their Christmas appeal is a great opportunity for the public to join in with their mission.”

Sponsored by Bako, the Giving a Home Christmas appeal encourages the public, community groups and business community to volunteer and fundraise for the work of Oasis Community Housing over the Christmas period. Local businesses have already signed up to help decorate Basis@Gateshead and bring some festive cheer to the homeless drop-in centre run by the charity.

Oasis Community Housing runs projects across the North East and London supporting over 2000 homeless and disadvantaged people each year. Last year’s campaign raised over £17,000, and this year the charity hopes to encourage even more donations so that they can impact more lives and ensure the continuation of their projects which support so many people. Individuals can support the appeal by texting GING25 £10 to 70070.