They say charity begins at home – but for one north Northumberland school, that philosophy has been adopted for the classroom by its pupils.
Children at St Paul’s RCVA First and Middle School have raised thousands of pounds for a variety of good causes this year, most recently at the Great North Run.
Three pupils – Mark Humphreys, Daniel Harrison-Frater and his sister Beth – amassed over £600 for the Freeman Hospital’s Heart Unit by completing the junior run, while teaching assistant Kathryn Adams ran the full half-marathon to raise over £400 for Catholic aid agency Cafod.
But they are just the latest endeavours in a long line of good deeds, reflecting the Alnwick school’s strong sense of community spirit.
Headteacher Maria Wilson said: “The work we do to support charities is strongly linked to the ethos of our school where we contribute to community cohesion.
“Our recent coffee morning for Macmillan Cancer Support was a great success, helping to raise more than £625.
“David Swinton from Macmillan voluntary support group was moved by the excitement and enthusiasm when he joined our pupils, parents, grandparents, governors, staff, parish members and the neighbouring residents.
“There was a real sense of community effort to support such a worthy cause.
“This is only one of the events we have had success with over the last year which pupils and families support, helping to develop citizenship education with our pupils where we consider others in need before ourselves locally, nationally and globally.”
And it has indeed been a busy year in fund-raising terms.
As well as throwing wet sponges at teachers, there have been cake stands, guessing the number of sweets in a jar and teddy-namings, which raised £180 in total for Christian Aid Week.
A further £165 was raised for the BBC’s Children In Need appeal, while St Paul’s young sports leaders also took part in a ‘walking to the Olympics’ event.
For Lenten Alms, the whole school did a 2p chain and a series of non-uniform days which raised just over £552.
And just this week, pupils from Year 6 were at M&Co in Alnwick to take part in a fashion show in aid of breast cancer charities.
A citizenship club is also being set up to work with the residents of Abbeyfield House care home to contribute with enriching activities for the residents.
Mrs Wilson added: “We also always support the Poppy Appeal and promote the importance of this in school.
“A lot of stuff has gone on but we’ve raised a lot of money over the past year and have lots of stuff planned for the next few months.”