Sleaford schools and churches appeal for toys and blankets to help those in need this winter

A Sleaford school is teaming up with local churches to help on hard-pressed residents and families hit by the cost of living crisis this winter.

St George's Academy students giving out free blankets and coffee at St Deny's Church on Saturday. From left - Jessica Annan 18, Ranya Tran 18, Ellis Jackson 17, with Rev Philip Johnson.
St George's Academy students giving out free blankets and coffee at St Deny's Church on Saturday. From left - Jessica Annan 18, Ranya Tran 18, Ellis Jackson 17, with Rev Philip Johnson.

St George’s Academy Principal Laranya Caslin has appealed to parents of pupils to offer what they can to help with their Christmas campaign.

She said: “We all have an awareness of the increases in the cost of living. Some members of our local community will be feeling very apprehensive about the winter and Christmas seasons ahead. It is also apparent

that this will hit some members of our community much harder than others.”

St Denys' Church, Sleaford - one of the venues for the Big Snuggle Coffee Morning.

St George’s Academy, St Denys’ Church Sleaford and All Saints’ Church Ruskington have come together to create two opportunities for the community to help those in need. The events are being led by St George’s Academy Sixth Form students with the support of Rev Philip Johnson and Rev Al Jenkins from the two churches.

Mrs Caslin said: “Firstly, we would like to ask for your support with our Big Snuggle Coffee Morning.

"We are welcoming donations of freshly laundered, good quality blankets, throws and duvets to distribute to those worried about heating costs. We know that snuggling under a lovely warm layer can help people leave their

heating off a little longer or have their heating turned down a little lower. This can be a big saving over time. Please have a look for any of these items that you don’t really use any more and donate them to our Big Snuggle.”

Donations can be sent to reception at the Sleaford Campus on November 16, 17 and 18 and to reception at the Ruskington Campus on November 23, 24 and 25.

Mrs Caslin said: “Our Big Snuggle Coffee Morning will take place on Saturday November 19 from 10am – 12pm at St Denys’ Church in Sleaford and on Saturday November 26 from 10am – 12pm at All Saints’ Church in Ruskington.

"People worried about the cost of their heating will be able to come and have a hot cup of tea or coffee and collect a warm blanket, throw or duvet free of charge. Information about other support available will also be on hand.”

Any leftover donations of duvets, blankets and throws will be delivered to homeless charities in the local area.

"As well as donating items to our Big Snuggle Coffee Morning, please help raise awareness of the event so that it reaches those most in need, especially the elderly and vulnerable in the community,” said Mrs Caslin.

Their second project is called Father Christmas’ Great Gift Giveaway.

Mrs Caslin explained: “As well as the general cost of living, the additional cost of Christmas is a concern for many. Some families with children, especially young children, may be wondering how they will make sure it is still a

special time of year. Many families will also have some toys which are no longer played with that are ‘as good as new’.

"In a similar way to the Big Snuggle, we are asking for donations of good quality toys that remain in excellent condition, possibly with their original box if applicable.”

Donations of toys can be sent to reception at the Sleaford Campus on November 30, December 1 and 2 and to reception at the Ruskington Campus on December 7, 8 and 9.

The Great Gift Giveaway will take place on Saturday December 3 from 1 – 3pm at St Denys’ Church in Sleaford and on Saturday December 10 from 1 – 3pm at All Saints’ Church in Ruskington.

Families will be able to bring their child to visit Father Christmas and receive a present.

"Our Sixth Form helpers will do their best to match the children’s interests with a gift that will be treasured,” said Mrs Caslin. “This will help families who are in hardship avoid the costs associated with taking their child to visit Father Christmas, but the gifts are likely to be much more substantial and could even be placed under the tree for Christmas Day if wished.”

She stressed that this event is designed for families in genuine hardship, such as those already in receipt of free school meals for example. While the students organising the event will not be checking eligibility, they would ask that the intended purpose is respected so that they do not run out of gifts for those families in need.

Any gifts remaining at the end of the event, will be passed on to children in care and/or hospital.

She thanked everyone in advance for their contributions.