The season of goodwill - Norfolk pupils use Christmas countdown to help less fortunate

Faith Hogbin, Jack Crews and Iris Dixon, pupils at Hickling Infant School. Picture: Kat Arnold

Faith Hogbin, Jack Crews and Iris Dixon, pupils at Hickling Infant School. Picture: Kat Arnold - Credit: Archant

With the countdown to Christmas now underway, schools in Norfolk are hoping to use the festive period to support those in need.

Instead of scoffing chocolates, children at Hickling Infant School will be among those taking part in a reverse advent calendar - which will see one pupil donate a food item every day.

The food collected over the Christmas period will then be given to Stalham Baptist Church, who will use it to make meal boxes.

They are one of several schools around the county inspired by the charitable spirit.

Kat Arnold, headteacher, said: 'We decided to do the reverse advent calendar because at school we have been thinking lots about friendship.

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'We talked with the children about how it is nice to give as well as receive and we got on to thinking about how lucky we are at school over Christmas.'

She said the school was big on everything Christmas - from parties and dinners to jumpers - so thought, when it came to their advent, it would be better to help those less fortunate.

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The reverse advent calendar movement has picked up speed in the last couple of years, with businesses, schools and families around the country opting to give during the Christmas countdown, rather than take.

Last month, food banks in Norwich, Thetford, King's Lynn and Cromer joined an appeal for donations, at a time when demand for services generally spikes.

Mrs Arnold said: 'We are giving the advent calendar to Stalham Baptist Church for their food bank and we hope to make people smile over the Christmas period.

'We all think that's an important thing to do.'

Six-year-old pupil Jack Crews got fully behind his school's charitable giving, and said: 'I wouldn't want to be hungry, I don't want other people to be either.'

Other local schools taking part in the reverse advent calendar include the City of Norwich School, Kenninghall Primary School and Ormesby Village Junior School.

• Is your school doing something unusual for Christmas that we should be writing about? Let us know by emailing

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