The Emanuel Christmas presents project was started in 2017 as a result of a conversation with Zena Sanders (who has educated two children at Emanuel).

We used to work with Samaritans Purse but felt it lacked the local connection. Our project is part of our local church, St Mark’s, ‘Cheer’ initiative. Cheer is a leading ministry for the encouragement, healing and restoration of those who find themselves parenting alone and includes any person who has sole responsibility for the care of a child/children. Cheer is run by Lucinda whose own children were both at Emanuel some years ago – one of her sons was a talented fullback in one of my rugby teams.

As a result of very positive feedback in the inaugural year, we decided to roll it out over both the Middle and Lower School. This year, all 35 forms contributed at least two bags full of Christmas presents. Lisa Irwin has been a great help acquiring large festive bags and Lucinda supplied details of the local single parent families we are helping, so that forms can personalise their presents.

Ms Windsor organised the delivery of the bags to St Mark’s after school on Monday of this week. For the first time, we took a number of Emanuel pupils with us and Lucinda spoke movingly to them of the circumstances of the families who are being helped.

Thank you to all the pupils and their families who have so generously donated to this campaign.

Mr Andrews (Senior Tutor)