Kind-hearted students at Royal Wootton Bassett Academy took time out of their schedule to deliver Christmas presents to some of the town’s older residents who may be isolated or lonely.
Students in Year 11, who like all GCSE candidates nationally have faced enormous challenges to their learning during the pandemic, delivered boxes of chocolates to residents in a Covid-secure way, knocking doors and leaving the presents on doorsteps before moving away. Each student wore masks and sanitised their hands before and after each delivery.
David Storey, Teacher of Geography and Head of Year 11, said: “It has been such a fantastic opportunity to safely connect with members of the community who may have felt very isolated over the last few months. It is so nice for them to know we haven’t forgotten about them, and the students were really touched by the reactions of those they visited.
“One student told me: ‘It was so cute. When we knocked on her door it looked like she was about to cry, she then told us all about her grandchildren. She was so happy to see us.’ Another student said: ‘One lady we spoke to just wanted to talk to us.
“Year 11 students also appreciated the opportunity to get out and about after what has been a really tough and uncertain year for them as well. It really was a win-win all round.”
Staff at Royal Wootton Bassett Academy have also done their bit to add some Christmas cheer to families this year. The academy’s Head of Pupil Premium, Mary Jones, organised a Christmas present drive for the school’s disadvantaged students.
“School staff have been generously donating gifts so we can support our low-income families this Christmas,” said Mrs Jones.
“We were delighted to be able to provide gift bags for 44 students and their families, to help make the festive period a little brighter during these difficult times. More than 350 items have been donated and wrapped by staff, as well as a generous donation of £120 worth of gift vouchers from the governors. We have also been lucky enough to receive presents from relatives of our staff and students.
“At Royal Wootton Bassett Academy we know that Christmas can be a challenging time of year at the best of times for many and this year the need to support our families is greater than ever. We hope that this can help to make the festive period a little easier.”