Girls bring Christmas joy with fundraising efforts

Rod Minchin, PA
·2-min read

Two schoolgirls are bringing Christmas joy to scores of people.

Amelia Portlock and Millie Newman raised more than £1,200 to buy gifts for people affected by cancer, pensioners, the homeless and families in crisis.

They have also hand-written 120 letters to go with the gifts.

The two Year 8 pupils at Wycliffe Preparatory School in Gloucestershire raised money by completing a 12-hour car wash, a 12-hour tennis marathon, a 16-mile cycle ride and a 10-mile walk.

“Our goal was to put a smile on people’s faces this Christmas. We’re both very passionate about helping the lonely and those less fortunate than us,” said Millie, 12, from Quedgeley, Gloucester.

The girls made 40 “Happiness Hampers” for Gloucester charity Charlie’s Community Support & Therapy Centre.

“These parcels will go a long way to putting smiles on people’s faces and this year they will mean more than ever,” said Jo Sutherland, director of Charlie’s.

“We can’t thank them enough for their incredible effort.”

Residents at Chestnut Court, a care home in Quedgeley, were delighted when the girls delivered 60 gifts and handwritten letters.

Ruth Jefferies, activities co-ordinator at Chestnut Court, said: “The girls’ gesture means the world to us.

“Our residents are going to be so surprised when they receive their gifts. We can’t thank them enough.”

The girls also brought children’s clothes for Gloucestershire Bundles which supports families in crisis and donated 100 selection boxes to Gloucester Feed The Hungry.

The girls’ Christmas project was part of the Stonehouse school’s annual Kirby Challenge, which asks children to undertake a project which benefits the community or school.

The Year 8 children each choose their own project for the challenge, which was developed to help their transition to the senior school.

“It has made us realise how a small gesture can change a life of someone who feels invisible,” said Amelia, 13, from Quedgeley.

Helena Grant, head of Wycliffe Prep in Stonehouse, said: “We are so incredibly proud of these girls who encompass all of what Wycliffe is about.”