Salford sweets letters

Irlam and Cadishead Academy helped make some elderly Salford residents Christmases with their festive gifts.

The academy ensured their heads of year delivered sweets and handwritten cards to locals at Astley Court, Heartly Green, Moorfield House, Holly Court and The Meadows during the week before Christmas.

Sharon Lightford, Head of Year Seven, said: “We decided recently that we would look at the old people’s homes and the sheltered housing in Irlam and Cadishead because we were just aware that during Covid it’s quite a lonely time.

“We had a Christmas jumper day and instead of paying a pound [to wear] a Christmas jumper to donate, the kids brought in a sweet treat like mince pies and I’ve got a whole ‘I’m looking at it now thinking oh my god what I am going to do [feeling]’.

“All the children and staff donated to it. Effectively what we’ve done is we’ve decorated five big boxes and filled the boxes.

“We didn’t realise how much we would receive really, we’re not really sure. We’ve just been overwhelmed, we’ve had parents dropping things off at reception every day so everybody’s really got involved with it,” she added.

They had received so many gifts, they even had to appeal on social media for extra boxes to transport the treats.

Mrs Lightfoot added: “We did a Christmas card competition – got the kids to design one and we’ve had them made. All the kids have written a special message to the elderly but they’re really uplifting messages so, obviously, they don’t know who it’s going to.

“I’ve got one here in front of me: ‘Have a very Merry Christmas and remember, keep smiling and enjoy our sweet treats, love from all the students in year nine.”

“All the kids in the whole school have written one of these cards designed by the kids.

“I’m overwhelmed, really. I really am with the response that we’ve had. This is a community that does come together in the hour of need,” Mrs Lightfoot added.

“We’re quite obsessed with tweets and involving the parents and involving the community. We’re one road in and one road out in Irlam, everybody sticks together and we do our own things.

“We get loads and loads of stuff done it school, but it’s just great to put it out there.”

The academy also worked with charity The Milk Aid to ensure families in need at ICA also got a Christmas hamper of their own.

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