Dorset school gives food and energy vouchers to families in need this Christmas

A school in Dorset has given out food and energy vouchers worth £50 to help families in need this Christmas.

Sherborne Primary School has received donations from businesses across the town which go towards the vouchers, as well as bags and boxes of food.

Emma Young, a single parent and a foster carer, was given a stack of supplies by the school.

"It means a lot to have this," she said.

"It just has that little extra touch for the children and it will explain to the children that there is a community and they’re part of something bigger than just our family - they’ve got a community supporting them."

The local community has donated thousands of pounds worth of food, mainly going towards families of children who receive free school meals.

It is something the school has done before, but this year each family will also get a voucher to help pay for energy.

'We want to help them'

Headteacher Ian Bartle said: "Bills are going up, whether it’s food bills or energy bills. Everything’s being squeezed so this small percentage of our community here - we just want them to know we care and we want to help them."

The school says it has been overwhelmed with support this year from people in the community wanting to help.

David Birley, who is the former Mayor of Sherborne, is also involved in the school's yearly campaign.

He said: "I'm lucky enough to go around and speak to the business people and the individuals in this town and ask them if they would continue to support the project.

"I'm glad to say we've had a fantastic response and from so many companies and individuals."

Phillipa Tarling's shop Echo Gelato has donated to the school's project.

She said: "The stress of having to make a decision, whether you have a hot meal or hot bath, the heating on, even in some cases, may be turning on the Christmas tree lights.

"Families don't need that added stress at this time of year, and if we can help? Well, that's a good thing."

The school has helped around 70 families this Christmas so far, through food boxes or energy vouchers.