THE vital work of Haslemere Food Bank in helping families in need has touched the hearts of children at Barrow Hills School and spurred them into action.

Five year five pupils launched a challenge to their classmates and to adults in the community to donate gifts for children at Christmas.

Each form in the school, from nursery to year eight, made up a Christmas gift bag of festive goodies for one boy and one girl of their own age which were given to Haslemere Food Bank at a school assembly.

The project was spearheaded for the second year running by five girls – India, Lucy, Annabelle, Isabella and Elena who were inspired following a visit to meet the volunteers who help run the food bank.

Barrow Hills headmaster Matthew Unsworth said:“They told our girls that when families became aware that they could have a gift for their children and how our pupils had played a key part in that last Christmas, several of them cried. This message understandably was not lost on our girls and it came as no surprise when they asked if we could repeat our support for the food bank again this year.”

The challenge was also extended to providing gifts for adults and all the gifts will go to local families living within a 10-mile radius of the town.

Mr Unsworth added: “I am immensely proud of the five children who inspired the school to play a small part in helping those who need it.

“A key strand of our ethos at Barrow Hills is to instil empathy for others and this is an example of children helping children less fortunate than themselves.

“I hope the wonderful initiative set up by India, Lucy, Annabelle, Isabella and Elena continues well into the future.”