Forest Gate schoolchildren make up Christmas hampers for families in temporary accommodation

Forest Gate Community School with hampers

The Year 7 student council delivered the hampers to The Magpie Project. - Credit: Tom Barnes

Forest Gate Community School’s student council has been hard at work collecting gifts for hampers as part of a Christmas charity drive.

The Year 7 students at the Forest Lane school have been supporting families who are living in temporary accommodation over the festive period.

Forest Gate Community School students

The youngsters collected food, drink, and other gifts from their classmates - Credit: Tom Barnes

The youngsters collected food, drink, and other gifts from their classes to make up the hampers and then delivered them to charity The Magpie Project, which will distribute them in time for Christmas.

Year 7 student councillor Sauda Abdul-Aziz, 12, who lives in Forest Gate, said: "It's been a hard year for pretty much everyone but it has been particularly difficult for those most in need.

“We got the idea of creating hampers for families in temporary accommodation because we wanted to help the most in need at this time of year."

The hampers donated by Forest Gate school

The Magpie Project is delivering the packages to families who will be in temporary accommodation at Christmas - Credit: Tom Barnes

Fellow Year 7 pupil Mariam Rahman, 12, who also lives in Forest Gate, said: "I wanted to join the student council to help people. It is part of the culture of the school to help people.

“To have children and not have a permanent home must be particularly hard at Christmas during a pandemic and we just wanted to do something special for them this year."

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Jan Tallis, who chairs the Community Schools Trust, came up with the idea of working with The Magpie Project.

Assistant headteacher Marzan Ahmed said: We are very proud of our Year 7 pupils who have worked extremely hard to ensure the hampers are ready to be distributed to single mums and their young children living in temporary housing in Newham.

“Many of our students are able to relate and being brought up in Newham in a single parent household, I know first-hand the impact their efforts will have on the children receiving these wonderful hampers on Christmas day."

He added: “I think because the chance of doing things have been limited this year the student council have really thrown their efforts into this project.”

The charity supports mums and under-fives in temporary accommodation in Newham.

More info on how to help the Magpie Project is available on the charity's website