School’s staggering 270 shoeboxes for charity

Glebelands School's shoebox appeal
Glebelands School's shoebox appeal

Glebelands School in Cranleigh were pleased to welcome the Rotary Club of Cranleigh to the school on Monday 17th November to collect the Christmas Shoeboxes for their 2014 appeal.

Students of all years at Glebelands collected a staggering 270 shoeboxes which they filled with warm hats, gloves, scarves, small toys, crayons, colouring pencils, pens and sweets which were wrapped in festive Christmas paper. The boxes will be delivered to children of needy families in the town of Hunedoara, Romania and the surrounding orphanages and for some it will be their only gift at Christmas.

Rhoan Hepburn, Head of Achievement for Year 7 at the school said: “Glebelands students have been part of this appeal for over ten years now. It really is a Cranleigh collective charity as the primary schools, businesses and parents of students who have left, all work together to donate hundreds of boxes for the appeal. It’s a real honour to be part of an appeal in a school which really pulls together for a great cause. The students really appreciate the difference that these gift boxes make when they reach their final destination in Romania and there is a real buzz around Glebelands in the final weeks before collection day. Many of the students write notes to the recipients with one pupil stating “I just want them to know there are people out there that care”, which is a wonderful statement of how our students feel towards the shoebox appeal. I also want to offer thanks and show our appreciation to the businesses, parents and the people of Cranleigh who helped by donating items to the school to fill the boxes. Our special thanks go to Mr and Mrs Graham and One Forty, Cranleigh for their very kind donations of toys, Christmas wrap and empty shoeboxes”. Andrew Kolmar the International Chairman for the Rotary Club of Cranleigh was extremely pleased with the response from Glebelands students and said “We really appreciate the efforts of students at Glebelands School. This is a record number of gifts collected from the school and we sincerely thank the students.”

Glebelands School was delighted to learn that BBC Sussex and Surrey producer Matt Graveling won the Radio Programme of the Year in the EDF Energy Media Awards on the 13th of November for his series of broadcasts on the Surrey Shoebox in December 2013. Glebelands School students were interviewed last year as part of the radio programme and Matt came back to Glebelands to give a thought provoking assembly to Glebelands students and show them photos of the shocking conditions that some of the children of Hunedoara live in.

This year BBC London News will be following the journey of the shoeboxes in December to Hunedoara, Romania. We were pleased to invite BBC London News video journalist Oana Marocico to Glebelands School on Wednesday 13th November to learn more about the Christmas Shoebox appeal. Children from Cranleigh C of E Primary, Park Mead Primary and St Cuthbert Mayne Primary also visited Glebelands to be interviewed on camera and to show what sorts of things go into the gift boxes. Catherine McAulay, Head of Achievement for Year 8 was in charge of the day and said: “The children were really brilliant in their interviews. They explained very well why this charity is so important to the schools and why it has such an enduring appeal. Every year the children of Cranleigh really rise to the challenge and I think this year has been the best yet with a record number of boxes being made.”

Report and picture contributed by Glebelands School