Young recruits to Jam Jar Army

SEahouses Middle School pupils Aidan Topham, Rebecca Whitelaw and Cameron Thorpe with their full jam jars.
SEahouses Middle School pupils Aidan Topham, Rebecca Whitelaw and Cameron Thorpe with their full jam jars.

SCHOOLS across the region have already joined the ranks and jam jars full of change are rolling in.

The Jam Jar Army started its march last week and schools in Northumberland are some of the first to get involved in the campaign to raise £10,000 for HospiceCare North Northumberland by September.

Seahouses Middle School was one of the first to sign up, persuading local supermarkets to donate jam jars and marching on Bamburgh Castle to raise awareness last Thursday.

And Year 6 pupil Rebecca Whitelaw was the first to return a full jar, in less than a week, closely followed by several of her colleagues.

Julie Harris, headteacher at the middle school, said: “We were given 104 jars by Sainsbury’s and another 34 from the Co-op in Seahouses which is enough for one per pupil but we also had a stall at the summer fete so some local people have taken jars as well.

“The children are really, really enthusiastic about the project.

“The Year 6 pupils walked to Bamburgh Castle to raise awareness and they carried the banner along the beach in gale-force winds. Some of them walked up into Bamburgh and they raised £55 just there and walking on the beach.

“Some representatives from HospiceCare North Northumberland were there and presented the children with medals. Many of the children have either members of their family or friends who have been affected by cancer so it’s something that really catches their enthusiasm.”

Explaining why the Jam Jar Army appealed to her, Miss Harris added: “I liked the fact that it wasn’t asking for sponsorship money. It’s simple and everyone has some type of container at home to collect money. I just really liked the idea and getting Sainsbury’s and the Co-op to donate the jars was just a bonus.”

Pupils at Ellingham CofE First School are also joining the charge and are publicising the Jam Jar Army in the community as well.

Headteacher Diane Lakey said: “We try where possible to support charities, especially local charities. It’s part of our ethos as a church-aided school.

“It’s something that can be ongoing and it’s not asking for sudden sponsorship – they can do it on their own time.

“It’s very, very easy and straightforward. And small amounts of money are easier to get people to give.”

Across Northumberland, other schools on the crusade so far are Belford First School, St Paul’s RCVA First School in Alnwick, Belsay First School, Berwick High School and The Grove School in Tweedmouth.