From toy appeals to food bank donations – ISA schools spread festive cheer with charitable acts for Christmas

23rd December 2021

Reindeers were aplenty as Derby Grammar students and staff donned Christmas Jumpers to celebrate the festive season and raise funds for a lovely cause.

The schools of ISA Members from across the UK organised a variety of charitable drives and donations to help those who are less fortunate as we celebrate the Christmas season.

Derby Grammar School in Littleover, Derby held a Christmas Jumper Day which was embraced by students and staff, meaning that over £263 was raised for the Children’s Ward at the Royal Derby Hospital, helping fund as comfortable a Christmas as possible for the kids.

Over at Stafford Grammar School, talented musicians headed out to supermarkets in the local area to play Christmas Carols to raise money for the Katherine House Hospice, who provide care and support for those with advanced life-limited conditions.

At the Stafford Grammar Senior School, the three forms per year group choose their own charities to support, for Christmas 8F elected to raise money for Brain Tumour Research as part of the school’s Christmas Bazaar.

Special mention must be awarded to SGS pupil Honor, after learning that a family friend suffered domestic violence, she decided to launch ‘Operation Comfort’ to put together gift bags for Staffordshire Women’s Aid. Honor donated over 50 gifts, including essential items for the women and children in need, as well as some treats to make Christmas as special as possible for them.

To learn more about the heartwarming act, listen to Honor’s interview with BBC Radio Stoke below.

Abbey Gate College in Chester held the now-traditional Christmas Jumper Day in their Infant and Junior stages, whilst also spreading the special festive feeling by sending some beautiful Cards of Kindness to residents at a local care home.

Out in Wales, Westbourne School in Penarth, ‘The Big Wrap’ was supported for the third year in a row. The charity gifts presents to children who are at risk of receiving nothing at all or very little. This year’s focus was on 14-19 year olds as it can be very difficult to source donations for them.

Westbourne also arrange a donation drive for The Trussell Trust’s food bank in Barry, which was delivered on 15 December and called for essential food items as well as some lovely Christmas treats for those who are less fortunate, like Yule logs and mince pies.

King Alfred School in Golders Green spurred forward with several charitable efforts to help those in need over Christmas. They worked with the Alexandra Wylie Tower Foundation to gather food and toy donations for North London families.

School six at King Alfred also helped raise over £150 for Save the Children as part of their Christmas Jumper Day. Finally, they spread the festive cheer amongst their community as Year 6 students made festive cards for the oldest members of the alumni.

The Kingsley School filled an entire minibus full of gift donations from the Prep and Senior School to Helping Hands, who ran a shoebox appeal this year for those in the Warwickshire and Leamington communities who are less fortunate.

The Southbank International School were another ISA member who went above and beyond with their efforts, the Kensington campus raised a staggering £1261 for Save the Children UK with their Christmas Jumper Day.

Over at the Westminster site, a bake sale was held by the G8s and the silky sweet creations collected over £250 in donations, which is enough for AgeUK to send out 500 Christmas hampers.

The Grange School in Cheshire once again arranged charitable efforts across the school. The Juniors supported the local St Luke’s Hospice with an ‘Elf Run’ around the school grounds, raising a phenomenal figure of almost £2500.

As well as the Christmas Fayre which raised funds for the school’s nominated charities, The Grange also supported ‘Operation Christmas Child’ as form 10JCV packed shoeboxes full of Christmas gifts. The Sixth Form also made sure that everything was done to stop children missing out as they donated to the Northwich Community Support Toy Drive with a boot load of presents.

As always, The Grange School made every effort to support those in need. Forms from Year 12 arrange some lovely Christmas hampers for the residents at Queen Elizabeth House and the  Communities and Charities team laid on a delicious afternoon tea for the residents of Oak Grange care home.

The Sports department even held their own charity drive alongside their Netball Christmas Festival, gathering donations for Lymphoma Action.

St James Prep and St James Senior Girls’ School in London were able to welcome back their school community to a Christmas Market held on 5 December. The parents arranged the entire event and raised over £9,000 for the two schools and their charities.







Leighton Park School in Reading were as active as ever in their area with their Christmas efforts, which is no surprise considering they were named the winner of the ISA Award for Outstanding Local Community Involvement this year.

A festive Mufti Day was organised by the Fryers (Year 7 and 8) to support Reading Family Aid, Reading’s food bank and Books 2 Africa. It was great to see students wearing their best Christmas gear to start off December as the school looked to go on.

Attentions then turned to help for the Whitley Community Development Association, with Leighton Park contributing a minibus full of gifts and a donation of £2500 to the charity’s Christmas Box campaign.

Those at Reckitt House, the school’s boarding for senior girls, also supported Berkshire Women’s Aid with some donations boxes of clothes and much more, painting these themselves as they also raised money for the charity with a bake sale.

As well as the gift donations for the Whitley CDA, Leighton Park also backed the Toys and Teen’s appeal from Reading Family Aid, filling up tables with presents for those who are less fortunate in their local area.

Finally, the school minibus was once again used for a charitable cause as Field House (home to boys boarding in Year 9 and over) and the Sixth Form delivered donations to the Churches in Reading Drop-In Centres for the homeless and also St Mungo’s, a charity providing recovery aid for those those living on the streets.

Leighton Park also had some donations for a local primary school, Ridgeway, showing the power that partnerships can have in our local communities.

Ditcham Park School in Hampshire prepared for their Christmas Jumper day in a sustainable way as the PTA ran a swap shop sale, with jumpers available for just a £1 donation. What an effort to make the most of a chance to support Save the Children UK.

The entire school community then came together with tables full of food and present donations for the Petersfield Food Bank, who will no doubt be working tirelessly to support everyone they can over the festive period.

King’s High in Warwick supported several charitable drives to make Christmas as special as possible for those who are less fortunate.

With Teams4U’s Shoebox Appeal, King’s High were able to spread the cheer even further, with the charity sending out gifts to children and families through schools, nurseries, orphanages and hospitals across Belarus, Bosnia and Georgia. Just look at all those presents!

The school for girls aged 11-18 also provided essential food items for Evelyn’s Gift, who provided Christmas Hampers for young adults leaving care and living independently for the first time.

Once again, one student at an ISA school went above and beyond with their show of support for the local community. Lucy at King’s High crafted some beautiful bracelets, attached with ‘A Christmas Wish’ to be handed to staff at local hospitals and care homes.

Tranby School in Hull kicked off December with a unique fundraiser at their Christmas Fair as the Social Action team baked their own handmade dog biscuits to support Street Paws, a charity supporting the animal companions of the homeless. £108 was raised by the students, which allows them to purchase 54 dog tags.

Tranby also held a Christmas Jumper day t0 support Save the Children UK and then arranged a drive to help the hospitals around Hull through the Wishh Charity.

Gifts were donated to children who will spend Christmas in hospital and Tranby also sent over some coffee for all of the superhero staff at the Hull hospitals.

Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate in York supported several charitable causes this Christmas, supporting organisations with local and international outreach efforts.

In November, the Rotary Shoebox Appeal was backed by Queen Ethelburga’s, seeing shoeboxes filled with small gifts and essential items that will be sent out to disadvantaged families in Eastern Europe. The students even included personalised Christmas cards in each box.

Read more about it here.

After their kind donations to European countries, Queen Ethelburga’s then got behind the Salvation Army’s Toy Appeal in York, collecting over 350 gifts when it was all said and done for the children who are less fortunate around York.

Major Andrew Dunkinson of the York Corps added that the kindness of the Collegiate will ‘make a significant difference to those families who have very little this Christmas.’

The school’s contributions did not stop there though… Queen Ethelburga’s also supported the Festive Hamper Appeal from Harrogate Hospital and Community Charity (HHCC).

With the donations of festive goodies from the school, HHCC are able to deliver more hampers across the North than last year, to the tune of a remarkable 1200 to help families and children in need.

Just when it seemed like Queen Ethelburga’s couldn’t do any more, in the final week of term, Key Stage 4 students visited York Foodbank.

This was also part of their ‘Volunteer Leaders’ Super-Curricular lesson. The project saw the students research foodbanks, design and display posters and donations boxes across the school and also deliver an assembly to their peers.

All of that work led to a whopping 100 kilos being donated to York foodbank at the critical Christmas period for the charity. Well done to the entire QE community!

Cranford House in Oxfordshire showed that it was still possible to spread the Christmas spirit of giving in the absence of their usual annual Fair as the school community gathered donations for the elderly at the local Cholsey Day Centre.

Cranford students prepared some beautiful hampers!

This post will be updated with more contributions from ISA schools across the country. If your efforts weren’t shared online, send some details over to be included.

Fundraising roundups will now be a regular feature on the news section of our website. The ISA love to follow the charitable efforts from our Members’ schools towards nationwide causes like Macmillan Cancer Support, their local communities and much more.