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Christmas Tree Festival led school’s drive to raise nearly £1,000 for Kent homeless

More than 30 Christmas trees lit up Wouldham All Saints Church of England Primary School at Peters Village, as part of a festival that raised nearly £1,000 for Porchlight, the Kent charity for the homeless.

Entry was open to local people, charities, organisations and businesses and the array of festive conifers was available for public viewing at the school in Worrall Drive, on Saturday 7 December.

Trees could be artificial, real or homemade and up to two metres in height. And there was also a Christmas Grotto where children could visit Father Christmas.

One of the earliest entrants was a tree for the Peters Village Residents’ Association, funded by Peters Village developer Trenport and the housebuilders’ consortium comprising Orbit Homes, Moat Homes and Hyde Westerhill.

Created by Colleen Dunn of the Art And… creative company, this caught the eye with topical hand-made decorations including Great Crested Newts and other wildlife, highlighting the community’s much-loved SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) nature reserve, as well as replicas of the former Peters cement works and quarry that previously occupied the Peters Village site.

Children born or living at Peters Village also had special places on the tree - wooden decorations embellished with their names.

But the tree festival was not the only festive fund-raiser, as the school’s pupils turned their thoughts to people who faced a hard Christmas in poor accommodation or even sleeping rough.

The school’s Head of Religious Education, Diane Fitter said: “We would love to repeat the Christmas tree festival next year, but it was just part of a programme of events this time to raise money and profile for the good work done by Porchlight.

“We had a church service in Wouldham, dedicated to raising donations and awareness, and Year 6 pupils held a sponsored sleepover ‘sleeping rough’ on the floor at school; as one of the supervising adults, I can tell you that the floor was pretty unforgiving and shows the terrible hardships some people must endure at what should be a special time.

“We’ve also held pyjama and Christmas jumpers wearing days here at the school, where the children are exempted from wearing school uniform in return for a small donation towards the charity.”

Mrs Fitter added that every child and member of staff at the school had received a hand-crafted heart with their name on it and made by herself, as a memento of the season and their efforts.

More information about Porchlight:

We are one of the foremost charities supporting vulnerable and homeless people in Kent. We have supported accommodation services in Ashford, Canterbury, Dover, Ramsgate, Sittingbourne and Tonbridge, a homelessness prevention service and a dedicated rough sleeper team. We provide a range of services supporting people with complex needs, with specialist services for young people, ex-offenders and people with enduring mental health issues. Our focus is on long-term solutions, breaking the cycle of homelessness and ensuring that people can live independently in the future.

For our project contact details visit the:

Our Services section…

For all general enquiries regarding Porchlight:

Head Office
2nd Floor Watling Chambers
18-19 Watling Street
T: 01227 760078