Banbury area primary school pupils send hug pictures to Helen & Douglas House charity

Children at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Aston Le Walls, near Banbury, sent virtual hug pictures to the children at the Helen & Douglas House charity.

By Matt Elofson
Wednesday, 13th May 2020, 5:11 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th May 2020, 5:12 pm

The pictures from children at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School were included in the Foodbuy essential food care boxes which were delivered to 75 hospice families last week.

Foodbuy has teamed up with Together for Short Lives, to deliver essential food care boxes to children’s hospices across the UK including Helen & Douglas House.

The packages contain items like cereal, baked beans, bread and toilet roll and now also have a lovely hug picture from the children from St Mary’s.

Kaitlyn, 5, from near Banbury

St Mary’s Catholic Primary School has been supporting Helen & Douglas House since 2009 when they were chosen as their charity as part of local primary schools’ community cohesion project.

The school children researched several local charities who had shops in Banbury and the school chose one charity to support for a whole year.

During the year they spent time at the Helen & Douglas House Banbury shop, creating window displays, sorting donations and talking to customers.

The pupils have fundraised for Helen & Douglas House at school events and wrote and recorded a special song, which was then sold at their charity shop.

Evie Concannon, aged 8, who lives in Woodford Halse, holds up her picture

They continue to support Helen & Douglas House with regular donations from the staff coffee fund and an annual trip to the charity’s Banbury shop to sing carols and donate boxes of toys and games. They have raised over £3,000 for Helen & Douglas House during this time.

The pupils of St Mary’s Catholic Primary School are currently working at home and one of their projects was to draw pictures to ‘send a hug’ to the children who are cared for at Helen & Douglas House.

They have sent Helen & Douglas House 12 wonderful hug pictures so far and are continuing to send pictures through each week.

Laura Concannon Head Teacher at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School said: "At St Mary’s we believe that the community is incredibly important.

"Together this year we have shared in many events; Remembrance joining both church communities, harvest supporting local food banks, Galanos house with a choir performance and repeated again for Helen & Douglas House, Cafod and Mission together fundraising, the Macmillan coffee morning and Easter bonnets made for Hobby Craft in Banbury for the whole community to enjoy.

"As the smallest and oldest school in the parish, we take great pride in how many good causes we are able to support.

"Helen & Douglas holds a special place in our hearts, and we were very pleased to be able to produce the ‘send a hug’ pictures to bring a smile to so many."

Alison Hooker from Helen & Douglas House said: "We cannot thank the teachers, pupils and parents of St Mary’s enough for their continued support for our charity.

"Thank you especially to Mrs Bergendorff who came up with this wonderful idea of making ‘send a hug’ pictures for our children.

"They have been really appreciated by our families when they were delivered with the care packs and bought a big smile to our children’s faces.

"It was such a thoughtful thing to do in these difficult times. Given the children we care for are all very vulnerable, it is a really tough time for our families being in isolation who we are supporting. Without amazing supporters like St Mary’s this would not be possible. ‘

If you would like to help Helen & Douglas House care for local families in these difficult times, you can donate by going to the Helen & Douglas House website at

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