At this time of year, it is only right that the spirit of giving is woven through everything our students are doing. Each of our three Schools have devised different ways in which they can support their local communities, and give to those with less than them.
Many of you will have enjoyed sending our official Christmas cards, which was produced in partnership with LIFT (Low Income Families Together). Thanks to your support, and the beautiful designs by our students, we have been able to raise money to support families across Edinburgh. Pauline Bowie, Low Income Families Together, Project Director comments: “We are providing over 250 children and their families with Hampers and toys with our jammy appeal. We have been inundated with referrals and now because of your amazing donation another six families will receive a voucher to purchase their Christmas Dinner.”
One of our winning entries from our Christmas card competition, Orla, MES S2, was also chosen as one of the winners of the Shelter e-card competition and is available to purchase from Shelter.
There’s been a flurry of festive post across our Early Years too. As part of our Digital Learning work, Primary 3 children designed their own Christmas postage stamps, which were shared with all our Early Years Children, and a donation towards Simpsons Special Care Babies was made by families who wished to use them for our internal festive post. The children have also donated over 300 gifts to the Cash for Kids Missions Christmas, and are looking forward to their Christmas Jumper Day where money will be raised for The Chesney Trust.
Meanwhile, at Queensferry Road our Primary 6 and 7 children started collecting for the Edinburgh Food Project Reverse Advent Calendar. Food and provisions soon began piling up on classroom shelves, and a school minibus was loaded with over 30 bags and boxes bursting with donations and driven to the main EFP warehouse to be distributed. Primary 6RC also created Christmas and holiday greeting cards, which were then delivered to Haugh House Care Home in Stockbridge.
In the Senior School, MES students visited the Tree of Kindness in St Andrew’s Square to drop off some of their first donations for Social Bite. While we were there, the charity staff showed the students around an example of one of the houses the charity build to help homeless people get themselves off the streets and reacclimatise to living in a home before they are more permanently settled.
S5L are also in the midst of the annual MES Lochaber Candy Cane Capers. So far this year they have raised over £500 for this year’s House charity, Nappirunz, which supplies nappies to families in need.
Last week also saw the MES Christmas Fair. Students came up with imaginative ideas for stalls and raised money for our three student nominated charities, Empathy in Mind, Talktime Scotland and The Chesney Trust, raising almost £500.
For the last few weeks, SMC Lochaber students have been busy collecting items for the local charity, Fresh Start. The charity aims to give basic household items to people that have been homeless, to help them when starting off in a new home. Household items collected so far include, towels, cutlery, TVs, and non-perishable food and they have also put together Christmas hampers, with festive items included. A group of students volunteered to stay late on Friday to wrap boxes and create the hampers.
Various cake and bake sales have also been happening at SMC to raise funds for Amnesty International.
Of course, this spirit of giving doesn’t just happen at ESMS during the festive season, the Schools support many local and national charities on an ongoing basis and this term also saw significant sums of money raised for Save the Children, Doddie Aid and Finlay’s Friends.