Pupils of Banbury’s Blessed George Napier School Amnesty International group were roused to help people in poverty after seeing a screening of I Daniel Blake.
The generous youngsters and their families built up an astonishing store of non perishable foods for a Banbury Foodbank.
The group sent letters to all BGN parents asking for donations. In addition the Amnesty members hosted several assemblies engaging other students about the desperate need for donations.
A-level student Sadie Berry-Firth organised a collection at St Mary’s RC Primary School, Bicester which responded by collecting an huge number of donations.
Ms Berry-Firth said: “One of the contributory factors to this growing hardship is that the circumstances in which welfare sanctions are implemented are often unreasonable and absurd.”
The group has also looked at the report produced by Professor Philip Alston, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and hardship who toured the UK in autumn 2018.
Prof Alston said: “Anyone who opens their eyes can see the immense growth in foodbanks and the queues waiting outside them, the people sleeping rough on the streets, the growth of homelessness, the sense of deep despair that leads the Government to appoint a Minister for Suicide Prevention and civil society to report in depth on the unheard levels of loneliness and isolation.”
His report also said that 1.5 million people in the UK are destitute while 14 million people (of whom four million are children) are living in poverty.
Teacher and supporter Peter Jones is one of the Amnesty group organisers. He said: “Sadie, Matthew Hooson, Jasper Bolduc, Eva Doxia, Isabella Hill, Steph Napier-Kowski, Agata Stasik and Hannah Jenkins all played an active role in organising donations.
“The group is most grateful to all of those who donated, particularly those from BGN school and St Mary’s Primary School in Bicester. We hope the hard work and dedication of these young people truly makes a difference.”