School children team up with us to hand out festive shoeboxes to elderly

Thirteen pupils from Mountain Ash Comprehensive School in Rhondda Cynon Taf (RCT) recently (December, 2019) joined forces with our RCT office to hand out festive shoeboxes to elderly people in the area.

Abacare and Mountain Ash Comp shoeboxes

(Far right) Abacare’s Deputy Branch Manager, Leah Haslam with (left) Mountain Ash Comprehensive School’s Textiles Teacher, Ruth Pugh and the year nine pupils with the boxes they assembled.

As part of their skills training for the Duke of Edinburgh (DOE) Award, the year nine pupils assembled and delivered the gift-filled shoeboxes to vulnerable individuals looked after by Abacare.

Ruth Pugh, Textiles Teacher at Mountain Ash Comprehensive School, said: “I have really enjoyed working with such an enthusiastic, kind, fun and helpful group of pupils at our school.

“As part of the skills training in their Duke of Edinburgh Award, we thought we could look at caring for our community and teamwork. We called on staff and other pupils across the whole school to donate items for boxes for the elderly and vulnerable in the local area and we were thrilled to team up with Abacare to help us distribute them to its service users.

“It was such as positive start to the skills training, and I am very proud of everyone who took part.”

Abacare and Mountain Ash Comp shoeboxes

Year nine pupils from Mountain Ash Comprehensive School and the boxes they put together for the elderly and vulnerable in the area.

Year nine pupils at the school are taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award and completing four sections including a physical section of their choice, volunteering within the community and a skills section where they develop life skills along with navigation and map reading skills.

In addition to this, they will also complete a two-day, one-night expedition where they will navigate a 10/12km route along with camping and being completely self-sufficient.

Talia Jones, Year nine DOE student at Mountain Ash Comprehensive School, said: “It made me incredibly proud. Helping the community shows people that we care about them.”

Abacare service user Elizabeth Brace

Abacare service user, Elizabeth Brace from Rhondda Cynon Taf, with one of the donated boxes.

Claire Archer, Recruitment Administrator at our RCT offices, said: “We regularly run a shoeboxes for the elderly scheme at Christmas and ask the general public to make donations of items, but when pupils from Mountain Ash got in touch, we thought what they were doing was so wonderful and generous, that we just had to team up with them.

“It was really heart-warming to see the effort and dedication the pupils put into their boxes and our service users thoroughly enjoyed their visits from the pupils and the boxes they received.

“The shoeboxes the pupils put together for our service users contained essential items that the elderly and vulnerable need at this time of year, such as hats, scarves, slippers and toiletries as well as books and some fun festive items for Christmas. We’d like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to all the pupils for their very kind donations, they should all be extremely proud of themselves.

“We’re really keen to do everything we can to alleviate social isolation in the elderly and initiatives like this really help. Having visits from the schoolchildren certainly brightened up our service users’ days.”