A NORTH-EAST school is celebrating its most successful food box appeal after a group of public-spirited young leaders rallied their classmates to support a charity.

Students at Polam Hall School, in Darlington, led a school-wide initiative to donate food parcels for Durham-based charity Feeding Families to distribute throughout the region.

School principal Kate Reid said: “Community is one of our core values at Polam, and this initiative shows how our school can come together in order to serve our neighbours in Darlington and across County Durham.”

Edward Watson was part of the team who made-up more than 120 food hampers for needy families

The initiative was spearheaded by Polam Hall’s community service group, Interact, which encouraged students and teachers to donate food and toiletries for needy families across the county.

Interact members delivered a presentation highlighting the charity’s good work to their teachers and classmates, designed posters to display around the school, and orchestrated efforts across all the school’s year groups.

Thanks to their hard work and to the generosity of everyone who donated, Polam Hall celebrated its most successful food donation drive.

Year 11 student Alfreda Batty, president of Interact, said: “We’re overjoyed with all the donations that we’ve received. We’ve had an even better response than ever before, and we’re just very grateful that people want to help out other families who are in need, even during difficult times like these.”

Some of the Interact pupils personally delivered the donations to Feeding Families, in Durham, where they helped charity workers assemble more than 120 food hampers ready to be distributed to families.

A team of students visited the charity's base in Durham to prepare food hampers: (left to right) Henry Jewkes, Edward Watson, Aimee Jones, Olivia Martin, and Paula Motiejunaite

Aimee Jones, head of STEM at Polam, who accompanied the team, said: “It has been incredibly heart-warming and humbling to see the vast array of donations that have been brought in.

“It was brilliant to see the students coming together, especially with it being their first day back in school after two weeks at home self-isolating!

“A huge thank you from Interact and myself to everyone who donated items – you have helped make Christmas that bit brighter this year for families across Darlington and the North-East.”

Alfreda added: “I think this is definitely going to make a difference to a lot of families who maybe need a little help during these times, and especially at Christmas.”