Primary school staff ask parents for charity donations rather than chocolates this Christmas
It's a familiar ritual for parents: picking up a raft of Christmas presents for school teachers as the end of the autumn term nears.
But one Norfolk school is asking for a different kind of generosity from parents this year.
In lieu of buying the usual chocolates, wine and bath bombs, teachers at Buxton Primary School are asking parents to make a donation to charity instead.
Its chosen charity – suggested by a pupil – is Norwich-based St Martins Housing Trust, which supports homeless people in the city and around Norfolk.
A letter sent to parents about the charity drive said: “In past years, our wonderful children have surprised us with gifts at Christmas. While we appreciate this generous gesture, the financial pressures of the holidays mean that there are many in our community who are in great need.”
The letter adds that teachers will also be taking part, by “giving the pennies they would normally spend on a present for your child to the same charity”.
Imran Khan, headteacher at Buxton Primary, said the school’s staff were “very keen on giving back to the community” and did so through a variety of charities.
“They approached me and asked if we could do something different this year for Christmas instead of giving and receiving gifts, and the suggestion was for staff and parents to donate to a charity instead; I loved the idea,” he said.
“This is instead of children giving gifts to their teachers and receiving gifts from them which often is a Christmas time tradition. We have had a very positive response from parents about this.
“The charity we chose was actually down to one of our pupils, who came to speak to me and asked if we as a school could help people who were homeless; when she saw people in Norwich who were homeless she wanted to do something to help them which inspired us to choose St Martins as the charity to donate to.”
Representatives from St Martins will be visiting the school in December to give an assembly to children about the kind of work the charity does.
Donations can be made at a collection box which will be kept in the school office and taken by staff to the lower playground in the mornings.