This year the Christmas show at The Ryleys School took on extra significance, as rather than buying tickets, people were asked to make a donation of toys or food to a charity close to one pupil’s heart.
Last year, Jake Ogden, in Year 4, championed support for the Manchester based charity: ‘The Wood Street Mission’. This charity collects toys and presents for children in the Manchester area who often go without the simple things at Christmas because their families can’t afford them.
Jake’s Dad was told about the charity in passing at work, and, in turn, told Jake about it. The boy came into school passionate to help children in the area less fortunate than himself and his friends. Because of Jake’s enthusiasm for the cause, the school managed to collect donations of food for the charity. These were gratefully received and The Mission thanked Jake personally for his efforts and kindness.
This year Jake’s chosen charity was publicised in the school community even more, through the Middle School play ‘The Little Match Girl’. Whilst rehearsing and performing the play, the pupils were reminded that there are children similar to them, in personality and interests, who don’t find their stockings full to the brim with presents on Christmas morning.
Donations made by parents were so generous that one car was not big enough to take the items to the charity. The school mini bus had to be used instead and was met by The Mission staff with delight, amazement and thanks.
Had it not been for Jake’s caring and dedicated attitude The Ryleys’ links with this charity would never have been forged and the school community would never have been able to do such great work this Christmas.