School wins award for supporting community with foodbank

St Phillip Howard foodbank

St Phillip Howard has been recognised for its work in the community. - Credit: St Phillip Howard

A Hatfield primary school has received an award recognising their work helping people in the town after setting up a foodbank to help support the community. 

Staff and pupils of St Philip Howard Catholic Primary School won the Diocese of Westminster’s Primary School Social Outreach Award at a virtual ceremony earlier this month. 

Set up in the school entrance, the foodbank has seen a number of donations, including sanitary products from a women’s rugby team, with the aim of ending period poverty. 

“Working together to provide the foodbank has strengthened our community as a whole, as we work towards equality,” said headteacher Mairead Waugh.

“On behalf of St Philip Howard School community, thank you for recognising our hard work. We are delighted to be able to play a part in supporting those in need and helping our pupils to understand their part in helping to create a fairer and more just society.” 

Explaining the inspiration behind the foodbank, Mairead continued: “Before Christmas, as part of a letter writing session in class, a child wrote to Santa saying that, as she had tried to be much better this year, could she get a present?  

“It was discovered that her mother lives with no recourse to public funds – meaning she gets no government support – and can barely afford the essentials let alone Christmas presents.  

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“The school community stepped up and were able to provide Christmas presents for 70 children along with support from external charities, and ensure that those who needed could do their Christmas shopping at the foodbank.  

“The same mother said that she felt the school foodbank gave her dignity, as she could choose what she wanted to feed her family.” 

In his video message, Cardinal Vincent Nichols said: “Today we celebrate that volunteering – opening our hearts and hands to those in need – makes a huge difference. It makes a difference to our society and it makes a difference to how we learn and love and grow in our faith.” 

For the full list of winners, visit rcdow.org.uk/news/volunteers-celebrated-at-virtual-social-action-awards

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