Shocked by the scenes on the news about the ongoing unrest in Afghanistan, pupils at a primary school in Northumberland have taken it upon themselves to lead social action and are looking to encourage others to do the same and carry out ‘acts of love and good works’, which is part of their school vision.

Pupils at NCEA Warkworth C of E Primary School have challenged themselves to fill their school hall with donations for the refugees who have fled Afghanistan and made it safely to the UK, many of whom are now trying to rebuild their lives in the North East of England.

The children came up with the idea after being inspired by the work of one of their teachers, Kimberley Sharp, who runs the popular ‘A Child’s Wish’ Facebook group, which provides clothes, toys and essential items to women and children who have fled from domestic violence.

Having seen photos of the work Kimberley has done in the past to fill her living room at home with gifts and resources for families, the pupils decided they wanted to replicate the effort, but on a bigger scale, to fill their school hall with items which could be donated to charities in Gateshead who are supporting those who have fled conflict in Afghanistan.

Laura Ritson, Headteacher at NCEA Warkworth C of E Primary School, commented:

“This week in collective worship we’ve been exploring our vision # strive together as one (Phillipians 1.27) and reflecting on all of the ‘acts of good works’ we’ve completed over the years.

“When we asked the children what they wanted to do next, they started talking about some of the images they’d seen on the news about Afghanistan over the summer. We discussed what’s been happening in more detail and the pupils unanimously voted that they wanted to help and wanted to inspire others to help too.

“Filling the school hall is no small feat, but our children are so determined, we have no doubt that they’ll do it! We have until 30 September to collect as many items as possible so any support we can get from the local community would be greatly appreciated.”

The charities supporting the refugees are particularly looking for general items such as food, second hand furniture, cleaning products, toiletries and clothes (including school uniform, pyjamas and underwear) suitable for men, women and children of all ages, shapes and sizes. Many small children and babies have also been affected by the crisis in Afghanistan, so items like pushchairs, books and toys are also welcomed.

If you would like to support the appeal, there is a collection point for all items at Warkworth Primary School, 2 Guilden Road, Warkworth, NE65 0TJ. The deadline for donations is Thursday 30 September 2021.