Ripley students donate Christmas boxes
14 Dec 2018
Students at an Amber Valley school had the opportunity to hear about the reality of what it is like to be homeless from someone who had first-hand experience.
Ian visited The Ripley Academy, along with Jackie Carpenter, Assistant Director of Derventio Housing Trust.
They collected more than 20 festive boxes that had been created and decorated by students and staff across the academy which will be given as gifts to residents who live in Derventio homes in Derbyshire.
Jackie and Ian talked to students about how people can become homeless and what life is like for someone with no roof over their head.
Ian said: "Without Derventio I'd be in the gutter. Depression is so grim, but staff here stuck by me. They've helped me a lot. The staff are good listeners. I couldn't talk to blokes before, but I opened up to Fiona and Laura, and now to Mark. Help changes your mind. I've got the promise of a job in the new year, and I'm hoping to move to my own place soon."
Each student from across the academy, as well as staff members, filled a Christmas box with items ranging from clothes and toiletries to food and chocolates.
Steve Richardson, Director of Learning at The Ripley Academy, said the response had been fantastic.
He said: "Once again our students and staff have done us proud and created some fantastic Christmas boxes. Derventio Housing Trust does great work in our local community and we are happy to be able to support them in that. We would also like to thank Jackie and Ian for talking to our students and we hope the Christmas boxes bring a little festive cheer to the Derventio residents."
Jackie Carpenter said: "It's amazing to see the huge amount of wonderful things that everyone at the school has donated to help bring a bit of Christmas spirit to people who've fallen on hard times. And all the boxes are so beautifully decorated too! Some people have even put in Christmas cards. It really does make all the difference to Derventio residents to know that people do care, especially to the people who don't have family they can go to."
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