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Matt Burrows

Students and staff at Pangbourne College have completed two highly successful weeks of collection in aid of a Christmas Appeal for Reading-based food bank, ReadiFood.

The idea to contribute to the initiative was thought of by Upper Sixth student, Meredith Wilson. The Illawarra pupil commented on the Christmas Appeal, saying: “We thought that giving in a different way other than financially was a great way of helping.”

She added: “Contributing money to a cause is incredibly worthwhile but not everyone is in a position to do that. Providing food means everyone in the College community can give something immediately useful to those in need.”

Meredith has already been heavily involved in fundraising at the school, having raised over £1,800 earlier this year by designing and selling exclusive Pangbourne tracksuit bottoms, in aid of Breast Cancer UK and the College’s Centenary Charity.

ReadiFood is run by Faith Christian Group, which is a registered charity operating across greater Reading. Amongst several other growing projects, such as supported housing and winter shelters, the Group aims to help rough sleepers in the community and others in desperate need by providing food.

The ReadiFood project has provided an Emergency Food Parcel Service in Reading for over 25 years and currently delivers over 140 parcels every week to families and individuals across the greater Reading area.

The contributions from the Pangbourne College community ranged from tinned beans and tomatoes, to tea bags and long-life milk, to toothbrushes and tooth paste.

The lead on the staff side of the Appeal has been Housemaster of Macquarie, Mr David Metcalfe, who also spoke about the College’s efforts: “All the divisions have contributed and the staff common room has had a collection box, and the response has been brilliant. By getting the whole community to take part we thought it was a good way of helping a great initiative.”

Mr Metcalfe is targeting further work for the cause next year, saying: “The sad thing is that this will only make a tiny dent in the issue but it’s a very worthwhile thing to do and will help many people – hopefully we can build on it further next year.”

To make a donation to ReadiFood, text “RFFB24 £10” to 70070 to donate £10 (or other amount).

You can find out more about their work here: http://readifood.org.uk/

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