Students and staff at Ponteland High School enjoyed some festive fun for two good causes on the final day of term.
The Reindeer Run for Years 9 and 10 involved participants running two laps of a course around the school grounds outdoors.
They wore antlers, Christmas jumpers and other festive fancy dress and the course included posers’ pit-stop, selfie with an elfie and Christmas carol corner. The total amount collected was approximately £1,500.
This is the third time that the school has done this activity. The money raised is equally split between a national charity and a good cause based in the region – pupils vote to choose which ones are selected.
Crisis, UK charity for single homeless people, and Hexham-based Josie’s Dragonfly Trust, which works to brighten the lives of children and young people living with cancer, were chosen for this year’s Reindeer Run.
It was organised by the pastoral team for Years 9 and 10 – Sally Huntley, Larraine Tilley and Emma Wilson.
Miss Wilson said: “At Christmas, families enjoy a big meal and opening presents, so we thought our fun festive activity would be a good opportunity to raise money for those who don’t have a home and those who are seriously ill.
“The students really got into the spirit of the Reindeer Run once it got going and it helped them to see that staff were making idiots of themselves. It was also nice to bring the two year groups together.
“We’re very proud of the students and we even had a few of them bringing in more than £60. Once I add up all the money donated,it looks like it will be in the region of £1,500.”
On Monday, Miss Wilson took some warm winter clothing donated by staff to the Crisis Skylight centre in Newcastle.
Andrew Burnip, director of Crisis Skylight Newcastle, said: “Homelessness is a devastating and isolating experience.
“The average age of death for a homeless person is just 47. No-one should face these dangers.
“But thanks to the dedication of our fund-raisers, each year Crisis can help thousands of people to rebuild their lives. I want to say a huge thank you to the students and staff at Ponteland High School for helping end homelessness for good.”
Meanwhile, each tutor group in the school put together a Christmas hamper full of food and presents. They were decorated in a festive theme.
They were collected by a group of volunteers and distributed to people in need in the Newcastle area – for example families who have to live in hostels to escape domestic violence or young people who have been forced to leave home.