News from around the Archdiocese of Liverpool



Cath Pic Jubilee Issue-1 Catholic Pic November 2021-1

By Katie Parry


Pupils and staff at St Helen’s primary schools have collected donations to support a local charity.

15 local schools took part in the donations, and all together collected over a tonne of food donations for the charity, Teardrops.

The donations were collected for the harvest appeal, and also for world homelessness day and world mental health day.

Holy Spirit Catholic Primary School took part in collecting donations. Miss Walsh, deputy headteacher at Holy Spirit, said children, staff and families donated very generously throughout the half term.

Miss Walsh said: “It is a charity that has helped our school community Holy Spirit throughout the pandemic and it is our way of saying thank you.

“Each class was given a special rainbow box, which they have made shine the brightest by placing their donations in it each week.

“We have certainly lived out our school mission statement ‘Live, Love, Learn’’.

“Together we will soar new heights’ through our children thinking of others throughout the past half term by donating to the Harvest appeal.

“Last Friday we had a Brighten up for Harvest and Go Green Day to celebrate our Harvest, and reminded the children that they really have shone the brightest this harvest by giving so generously to Teardrops.

“Their donations will make lots of people in our local community shine too, as it will help them have a warm meal. 

“We are a very proud Catholic school who try and live out our faith in everything that we do.”

Holy Cross’ head girl, Katie Halpin-Belfield, and head boy, Cole Mayor, gave all their donations to Teardrops last Wednesday with their headteacher, Mrs Ravey.

Mrs Harrison, RE lead at St Bartholomew’s Catholic Primary School, was very impressed by how many food donations they received from pupils and staff at the school for Teardrops.

She said: “I reckon it must have filled about 20 big shoppers.

“There was loads. We were just blown away by the generosity.

“We do it around harvest time every year. We do our harvest celebration where we talk about the abundance of food and thank you for the farmers.

“But then equally we slip it on the other side that there are people who haven’t got enough to eat.

“It’s living out that Catholic life, looking for those who aren’t as fortunate and our school are amazing at that.

“Our students embrace whatever cause it’s for, and they always go above and beyond to live out that mission at being that loving family, which we are.”

Holy Cross Catholic Primary School also took part in the collections. Mrs Slater, PSHE leader at Holy Cross R C Primary School, was very proud of the families and pupils at the school for their donations.

She said: “Teardrops got in touch with us and said there’s a link between homelessness and mental health.

“In order to raise awareness for mental health day they were reaching out to the community to see if any schools were willing to donate.

“So, we said to the children they can come in in their own clothes, and in exchange for doing that, they can either bring a £1 donation in for the charity or they can bring in an item of non-perishable food.”

Mrs Slater said the school received a few hundred donations, and also raised around £40 in money. The school also added to that by donating some shoes.

Mrs Slater said: “There were a lot and to be honest, our families aren’t the most well off. The school is in an area of high deprivation. But our families do always come up. They are so willing to donate.

“We just think it’s really important for our children to recognise their role in a wider society.

“It’s a Catholic school. Our ethos is to love others and treat each other as we would like to be treated.

“We recognise that other people aren’t as fortunate as us and it’s part of our Catholic duty and our Christian duty to look out for our brothers and sisters and just make sure we can help where we can if we’re in a position to be able to do so.”

“Our children are fantastic. They make us proud every single day with their behaviour in school, their attitude towards learning, but most importantly, with the love and respect that they show to each other.

“We have so many visitors that come into school and our pupils are always commended on how beautiful their manners are and how polite and courteous they are to the visitors.

“Our children just make us proud all the time. They’re so kind and caring and so thoughtful. They always think of others, they’re always thinking how they can help others.”

The food donations raised by the schools will help homeless people, as well as vulnerable individuals, families and anyone facing poverty or who is at risk of homelessness.

Teardrops charity in St Helens run a cafe three nights a week, providing a hot meal and drinks to rough sleepers, sofa surfers, people in hostels and also people in their own home who are at risk of homelessness.

Nick Dyer, hub manager at Teardrops, said they currently cook for around 50-60 people on those nights, and distribute any donated food they get to local families in various hostels around the borough.

Teardrops support around 450 people per week. They are open Monday to Friday and also provide clothing, rucksacks, sleeping bags, blankets, footwear and toiletries.

Mr Dyer said Teardrops also support four local primary schools in the most deprived areas of St Helens with 12 trays of food each month to support school pantries. This ensures at least 30 families in each of the four schools do not go without.

Teardrops also run courses for adults around confidence and assertiveness and have tailored school workshops discussing all topics related to homelessness including drug awareness, county lines, gang and knife culture and first aid skills.

Mr Dyer said the donations they received from the 15 local schools this autumn is “far beyond what they expected”.

He said: “We are always amazed by the generosity of the local community, without which we could not continue the work we do as effectively.”

St Helen’s schools collect donations for local charity

We are a very proud Catholic school who try and live out our faith in everything that we do