Christmas mission for Leeds school headteacher

Chris Dyson with pupils from left, Kiah Mallory-Shepherd, Harvey Hatton and Daisy Dyson.
Chris Dyson with pupils from left, Kiah Mallory-Shepherd, Harvey Hatton and Daisy Dyson.
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A Leeds primary school headteacher has spoken of how a festive appeal inspired him to ensure every one of his pupils gets a proper Christmas.

Mission Christmas will be donating gifts to vulnerable children across West Yorkshire next month and the Yorkshire Evening Post is asking readers to contribute to the campaign.

Chris Dyson from Parklands Primary School, Seacroft, said it is “a fantastic campaign that gives heart-warming joy to vulnerable children”. And he said the appeal, organised by Radio Aire’s official charity, Cash for Kids, inspired him to make sure every child at the school gets a gift this year.

He said: “Last year Mission Christmas gave us around 60 presents. It’s a great campaign because it gives vulnerable children hope.

“It really got me thinking about what I could also do to help.

“I found out that in our school of more than 300 students, 
just seven had ever been to a Santa’s Grotto - it was heartbreaking.

“So we decided to open Parklands on Christmas Eve and have a proper celebration. We handed out gifts and Christmas dinners for every pupil.”

Mr Dyson said the school will be doing the same again on December 23 with Santa set to be in attendance.

A Cash for Kids spokesperson said: “It’s great to hear Mission Christmas is inspiring others. Thanks to Chris and all the pupils at Parklands Primary School for their support.”

You can help with the appeal by donating new and unwrapped gifts, suitable for children aged from babies to 18 years old, at numerous collection points across the city. For more information about the campaign and where you can donate gifts visit

Andrew McDonald � Pete Jones

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