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Students showcase festive spirit for charity and community

Students showcase festive spirit for charity and community
December 20, 2023 Dave Gooderham
St Helena School Foodbank collection

The family of Sigma Trust schools have been showcasing their festive spirit to support those in their local community. Here are just some of the highlights…


Clacton County High School Holly Court appeal   Stanway School ran a Christmas card competition to support the Colchester Korban Project

The annual Christmas present appeal at Clacton County High School (top left image) has once again been held with students, staff and their families kindly donating gifts and essential items for the residents of Holly Court, operated by Anchor Housing.

Now in its thirteenth year, the initiative also helps students focus on the idea of caring and thinking of others at Christmas. The response to the school’s Charity Committee’s appeal was once again overwhelming, with numerous items donated, accompanied by generous online donations.

Year 7 students also created over ninety special clay Christmas decorations as an extra-special personalised gift for every resident, whilst CCHS Sixth Form students at Sigma Sixth kindly wrote Christmas cards for everyone.

Anchor Housing Manager, Ela Crabtree-Soanes, said: “The generosity and thoughtfulness of the students at Clacton County High School amazes us all every year. They make so many people happy at Christmas time each year.

Media Studies teacher Alex Macleod, who coordinates the appeal at the school, added: “We have had an overwhelming response from our wonderful students and their families. Thank you to all our parents, students and staff who contributed to make this wonderful and kind gesture possible.”


St Helena School asked students to donate food items, where possible, as part of their Christmas Jumper Day and festive activities (main image).

Students collected the items on the school gate last week and then delivered them to Colchester Foodbank.

Charlie McCarthy, Head of School at St Helena, said: “Christmas Jumper Day is always a really positive day at St Helena as we get ready for Christmas.

“We encourage our students every day to be kind and to think of others so it has been great to see them working together with school staff, Ann-Marie Swash and Lisa Copeland, to support our local foodbank.”

During the visit to the foodbank, students learned how their donations would support food parcels and also how important the service was at this time of year.

To find out more about Colchester Foodbank, please visit


Students at The Stanway School have been designing Christmas cards in support of a local charity (top right image).

The annual competition at the Colchester school encouraged students across the year groups to design Christmas cards.

And the winners had the honour of being the festive card for Colchester Korban Project, a Christian charity breaking the cycle of homelessness in Colchester by giving young people aged 16-25 a home and supporting them to move on and live independently.

Carly Eves, head of art at The Stanway School, said: “Our Christmas card competition is always a fun way to head into the festivities and to be able to support a local charity at the same time made it extra special.

“The students really embraced the fun competition and showed great imagination and enthusiasm to the project.”

Mark Wood, chief executive of Korban, said: “We were delighted to be supported by the students of The Stanway School.

“Their festive designs really impressed us all and we are proud to showcase them on our Christmas cards this year.”