EARLY festive fun was on the cards for school children from two Morpeth middle schools thanks to the town’s flagship department store.
Rutherfords of Morpeth challenged pupils from Chantry and Newminster Middle Schools and Technology Colleges to design their 2012 Christmas cards, which are due to go on sale in the Bridge Street store from October 1 in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care.
Some 480 pupils, aged between nine and 13, have come up with their designs in the first week back under the guidance of Jill Woolley, head of art at both schools.
The best works will be short-listed before judging starts at the department store next week to choose three winners. Rutherfords will also present the three lucky pupils with £50 vouchers to buy art products.
Jane Rutherford, from the family-owned store, said: “We wanted to produce our own exclusive Christmas cards to go on sale in the store, and we thought it would be a great idea to get children from the local community involved and raise money for a charity we have supported for a while.
“Chantry and Newminster were really keen to be involved and it’s lovely to see the children showing so much enthusiasm and enjoying the chance to show off their skills. We have been very impressed with their designs and the hard part is going to be picking out just three winners.”
The three winning designs will be sold as part of a variety pack of Christmas cards in the lead up to the festive season.
Working on the project has been a huge hit with the pupils at both schools, including year seven Daniel Kramer who said: “It would be cool to see your own design in Rutherfords because it is something you have made out of your own hands.”
Lauren McLean, also in year seven, said: “It’s amazing that people could buy your work and share it with relatives and friends.”
Lois Scott, who is in year eight, added: “It is a worthy cause to design something that helps others.”
All the proceeds from the sales will go to Marie Curie Cancer Care, which provides care to terminally ill patients in their own homes or at the Marie Curie Hospice in Newcastle. Support is also given to patients’ families.
Community fund-raiser for the charity, Lisa Corfield, said: “Marie Curie receives a lot of support from the people of Morpeth, we have just recently set up a Morpeth Fund-raising Group, and it’s wonderful to be able to celebrate the local generosity with a Christmas card. Rutherfords has supported us in the past by hosting tea parties in its coffee shop and we are incredibly grateful for its continued involvement.”