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There With You: Newham teachers supporting vulnerable people with food parcels during pandemic

PUBLISHED: 07:00 01 May 2020 | UPDATED: 14:00 01 May 2020

Forest Gate Community School teachers Linnea Byrne and Georgia France have been delivering food in the school's minivan. Picture: Georgia France

Forest Gate Community School teachers Linnea Byrne and Georgia France have been delivering food in the school's minivan. Picture: Georgia France

Georgia France

Teachers are helping to deliver food parcels to vulnerable people who are self-isolating during lockdown.

Amy Brown from The Cumberland School has been helping to deliver food parcels. Picture: Amy BrownAmy Brown from The Cumberland School has been helping to deliver food parcels. Picture: Amy Brown

Staff at Forest Gate Community and The Cumberland School are volunteering as part of a Newham-wide council initiative to support those in need during the coronavirus crisis.

The items, including pasta, rice, fruit and veg and meat as well as toilet roll and hand sanitiser, are picked up from a community hub based at Sandringham Primary School.

They are then taken to vulnerable people who are self-isolating at home or to care homes and food banks across the borough in the school minivans.

Georgia France, head of PE at Forest Gate Community School, said: “The school plays an incredibly valuable role in our community so we were very happy to assist in a project that help support the most vulnerable amongst us.

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“We encourage our students to make a contribution to their community so it is important that we lead by example by showing them how to follow in our footsteps.”

Both schools have also been delivering food packages and supermarket vouchers to pupils on free school meals throughout the school closures.

They, along with schools across the country, have been shut since March 20 to all children except for those whose parents are key workers. No date has been set for schools to reopen.

Assistant headteacher at Cumberland, Amy Brown, said: “This is a challenge for us all, but the vulnerable and elderly people in our community with find it even more difficult and challenging.

“The Cumberland School has always put themselves in the heart of this community, so nothing was more instinctive than to support these hubs and volunteer to distribute food and to our vulnerable residents.

Simon Elliott, CEO of the Community Schools Trust, which operates the Forest Gate and Plaistow schools, said: “I am extremely proud of the teachers in both our schools who have given up their own time to help those in need.

“Even though the doors are closed to the majority of the students during the lockdown, we are very much playing our part in the community response to this crisis.”


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