WITH Christmas just days away, Lawn Manor Academy got in the festive spirit this week.

As a time of giving and thinking of others, staff and students decided to set about a project to help those less fortunate by collecting shoeboxes for Christmas Care.

The local charity celebrates its 29th birthday this year and still remains a lifeline for those who have nowhere to go over the festive period.

The shelter, which runs 24 hours a day, welcomes anyone in need. On arrival, guests are offered a change of clothes, bedding and a hot meal.

Over 200 boxes were handed over by staff and students over the weekend – much to the delight of headteacher Sandra Muir.

She said: “The collection was organised as part of the house competition that we brought in at the start of September and it has worked out really well since.

“It was surprising to see how many boxes were collected and I was really humbled by how much support the students and staff put into it.

“When we introduced the appeal, I didn’t think it would be as successful as what it has been but all the students have really embraced it.

“We had house points for the best presented and best offerings and it was so well received by everyone at the school.”

As well as donating food, toiletries and warm clothing to Christmas Care, students and staff continued their charitable efforts through to Tuesday where they raised more than £350 from a non-school uniform day.

These funds will now be donated to Swindon Food Bank.

Sandra added: “It was important for us that this was about a local charity and that we promoted their part as part of our local community in the school by showing how Christmas Care helps local people. The pupils were able to see the difference they make.

“We haven’t done anything like this before at the school but we usually support national charities. But since September, a big part of Lawn Manor Academy and the Lawn Manor Way is our community and we felt it was right and proper for us to do something for local people.”

People wanting to donate items to Christmas Care can do so by taking them to Buckhurst Community Centre in Walcot until Saturday, December 23 between 10am and 3pm.