Students and staff of Co-op Academy Swinton will take part in a Christmas Jumper Day in aid of Salford Foodbank and mental health charity Mind.

This can be a testing time for many people, especially with the recent coronavirus pandemic there has been a struggle for both physical and mental wellbeing.

Food donations. Photo credit: Gemma Davies

On Friday December 11,  pupils have been encouraged to go to school wearing a Christmas jumper alongside their usual school uniform.

Gemma Davies, the Co-operative Coordinator for the Academy, said: “The coronavirus pandemic continues to have a devastating impact on so many families and we want to do what we can to support vulnerable members of our community through what will be a difficult Christmas period.

“Christmas should be a time for joy and celebration – but for too many people it’s becoming increasingly difficult, with more people than ever accessing foodbanks.”

The school has asked anyone joining in with the festive celebrations to donate £1, which will be split between the two causes.



In 2019/20, approximately 1.9 million people used a foodbank in the UK, up more than 300,000 on the year before.

Ms Davies said: “We believe that it’s important for our students to join and make a real difference. Charity fundraising raises their awareness of issues that they may not otherwise be aware of.

“They benefit from the sense of purpose and pride which comes with supporting those who might be less fortunate than they are.”

Fundraisers are nothing new for the school with non-uniform days and other school events chosen by the student council supporting a range of charities including Coffee4Craig, Once Upon a Smile, Just a Drop, Mission Christmas, Macmillan, MIND, Fairtrade, and many more.

“One notable fundraiser was our ‘Swinton Pride Day’ held in 2019 and organised by our LGBTQ+ club, a day full of activities to promote the LGBTQ+ community. £250 was donated to Stonewall – the charity supporting the UK’s LGBT community,” she said.

Students working to fill the vans for the food bank. Photo credit: Gemma Davies

Alongside the Christmas Jumper Day, Co-op Academy Swinton has also been collecting food donations which have be sent to Salford Foodbank to support their work, this follows successful collections from the October Harvest festival and previous years.

Staff and students have donated around 3m000 items in total, filling three vans.

“We encourage them to appreciate the value of social action, empowering them to do what they can to make a difference to others, not just during their school years but into their adult lives.

“The response from our students and their families to this year’s Foodbank collection has been incredible and is evidence of our community’s commitment to co-operation and their awareness of the need to support the most vulnerable members of our society.”


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