Pupils’ Reverse Advent Calendar helps feed people in need this Christmas

OUR Lady of Mount Carmel RC Primary School, Ashton, is doing its part for the community this Christmas with a Reverse Advent Calendar.

In place of their annual school fair, which was cancelled due to coronavirus, they have teamed up with Station Hotel landlady Pauline Town to collect food for those in need.

Pauline is well known throughout Tameside for her dedication to helping homeless people get off the streets and into homes of their own.

Every day, she dishes out dozens of free packed lunches as well as support and advice for those who need it from her pub on Warrington Street.Earlier this year a new community hub, named after her, was opened near Ashton town centre providing wrap around care and support to people who are homeless and/or are vulnerable.

On their decision to team up with Pauline, teacher Seb Parker, ICT lead at Our Ladys, said: “It was actually one of our Year 6 classes that suggested we help Pauline.

“We were discussing the things we were missing out on this year due to coronavirus and the conversation shifted to people who miss out every year due to circumstance.

“We started looking at some of the local charities. We have done bits with Pauline before and it was one of our Year 6 students who suggested we help her again.”

After the idea was pitched to, and accepted by, school faculty by the head boy and girl, the idea of the Reverse Advent Calendar became a school-wide initiative for more than 200 students.

Mr Parker continued: “The idea of the Reverse Advent Calendar is rooted in the concept giving something back, rather than taking something.“Originally, we were going to do it every day but, due to the logistics, we changed it to the last Friday in November and the first Friday in December.

“In exchange for wearing non-uniform on those days, we asked students to donate food items that we could then take to Pauline to help the homeless.

“We filled three large containers with donations in the first week.

“We’re delighted to be able to help such a worthy cause, especially after such a difficult year as this one.”

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