High school students fill 200 bags with supplies for Ukrainian families

Northgate High School students have filled 200 bags with supplies for families in Ukraine

Northgate High School students have filled 200 bags with supplies for families in Ukraine - Credit: Brittany Woodman

Determined high school students have pulled out all the stops to donate 200 bags full of supplies for families in Ukraine. 

Northgate High School, in Dereham, launched an initiative last week for pupils to bring in essentials for those caught up in the conflict as a result of the Russian invasion. 

Two-hundred bags were filled by students at Northgate High School, Dereham, for families in Ukraine

Two-hundred bags were filled by students at Northgate High School, Dereham, for families in Ukraine - Credit: Brittany Woodman

Labelled the 'Bags for Lives' appeal, the idea was to fill supermarket carrier bags donated by the town's Morrisons store. 

And, after spending the weekend gathering various items, youngsters arrived at school on Monday armed with a multitude of warm clothes, shoes and non-perishable food. 

On Tuesday (March 8) morning, students congregated at the front of Northgate to help load the bags into a van which is heading to the Ukrainian embassy in London.  

Morrisons community champion Leanne Jarman with Northgate staff member Calum MacDonald and Amy Black and Tiago Queimado

Morrisons community champion Leanne Jarman with Northgate staff member Calum MacDonald and Amy Black and Tiago Queimado from A and T Clearances - Credit: Brittany Woodman

The school's alternative provision coordinator, Calum MacDonald, who came up with the project, expressed his pride at the response. 

"All the bags were completely full - you know how the handles cut into your hands because they are so heavy," he said. 

"Pupils were taking off the coats they were wearing that day and saying 'can I donate this?' It was truly humbling to see. 

Students at Northgate High School, Dereham, filled 200 bags with supplies for families in Ukraine

Students at Northgate High School, Dereham, filled 200 bags with supplies for families in Ukraine - Credit: Brittany Woodman

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"We had all sorts being donated and it was a really touching reaction from the school, right from the younger students up to the older ones and the staff.

"The whole school is chuffed to bits with what we have achieved."

Also included in the bags were heartfelt letters for civilians who have watched their homes crumble around them over the past two weeks. 

Northgate staff member Calum MacDonald with the 200 bags filled by students at Northgate High School, Dereham,

Northgate staff member Calum MacDonald with the 200 bags filled by students at Northgate High School, Dereham, for families in Ukraine - Credit: Brittany Woodman

It is hoped the loving messages will provide them with encouragement as they rebuild their lives over the coming months, and remind them that the world is standing with Ukraine. 

"Lots of letters went into the bags, so that will be great for families to be able to unpack and read them," added Mr MacDonald. 

"There is not a TV station you can turn on at the moment that is not talking about the war. For the students - who saw other children on the news - they just wanted to help.

"If we had to do it again and knew we were going to make a difference, we would do it in a heartbeat."

Northgate staff member Calum MacDonald with head of year 7, Michelle Graves (left), and Leanne Jarman

Northgate staff member Calum MacDonald with head of year 7, Michelle Graves (left), and Morrisons community champion Leanne Jarman - Credit: Brittany Woodman

Northgate High School students have filled 200 Morrisons bags for life to donate to Ukraine

Northgate High School students have filled 200 Morrisons bags for life to donate to Ukraine - Credit: Brittany Woodman