BGS community answers plea for help from Harrogate Foodbank

Children at Belmont Grosvenor School, at Birstwith, Harrogate, joined forces with schools across the district to hand over sack loads of food and essential items to Harrogate District Foodbank.

Harrogate District Foodbank Manager Dawn Cussons is overwhelmed by the response from Belmont Grosvenor School – and many of the local primary schools in the Harrogate area.

“We are so grateful for the donations from everyone at Belmont Grosvenor – and so many of the other primary schools across the area – it really makes a difference to people’s lives,” she said.

“We usually collect around 1 tonne of food in an average week – whereas this week, with the Harvest Festival donations, we have collected an incredible 3.2 tonnes,” she said.

“Each of our centres across the area – in Harrogate, Starbeck and Knaresborough – have seen a significant demand in people coming through the doors and these donations are essential,” she added.

“Nobody should be in food poverty. We live in an affluent area in Harrogate and we are so grateful that we have people who will donate to support others,” said Dawn.

Each year, pupils at Belmont Grosvenor School, based at Swarcliffe Hall, Birstwith, organise a Harvest Festival celebration and invite families in to school to share the event with their children.

Over the years, the school’s Harvest Festival donations have been handed to a number of local charities including Harrogate Homeless Project.

But this year, the school answered a plea from Harrogate District Foodbank which was facing a crisis in demand.

Pupils at Belmont Grosvenor School donated a whopping 926 items to Harrogate and District Foodbank – including everything from blankets, washing-up liquid, toothpaste and hot water bottles, to tins of meat and fish, pasta, noodles and juice.

Belmont Grosvenor School Headmaster Mr Nathan Sadler said Harvest was an important time for pupils at BGS to celebrate – and remember others who are suffering hardship.

“We have been overwhelmed by the amount of support and donations that our school community has provided. Pupils and parents were bringing bag after bag, full of items that will support those in need.

“Our Harvest Festival celebration was an inspiring event involving singing, poems and readings. We are glad that BGS has been able to help others in our wider community, as this aligns with our school aim of contributing to the community around us.

“As well as showing support for the Harrogate Foodbank, our Harvest was also a time to acknowledge the difficulties our farming families have suffered over the summer drought,” he said.

Belmont Grosvenor School, and its Magic Tree Nursery, is based in the village of Birstwith, just a few miles from the centre of Harrogate, and welcomes boys and girls from three months to 11 years.

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