The school at the centre of the hit TV show Educating Yorkshire is getting behind the YEP-backed Christmas appeal.
Headteacher and unlikely heartthrob Jonny Mitchell has pledged that Thornhill Community Academy, in Dewsbury, will donate gifts and the proceeds of a non-uniform day to this year’s Mission Christmas appeal.
The appeal, run by 96.3 Radio Aire and Magic 828’s Cash for Kids charity, encourages people to buy an extra festive gift that can be sent out to needy children at risk of waking up to nothing on Christmas Day.
Mr Mitchell, who is a father of three himself, is launching the school’s collection today and hopes it can drum up dozens of gifts and a donation of over £1,000 to Mission Christmas.
He said: “A lot of our kids themselves are not exactly rolling in cash yet they would expect to wake up on Christmas morning with, some of them, very lavish gifts, and other ones, more modest ones.
“I think if we can do just a tiny little bit to help that campaign, then that’s a bonus.
“I would hate to think that any child wasn’t able to have at least a little bit of fun and a smile on their face, waking up on Christmas morning.”
So far around 8,000 Mission Christmas gifts have been requested by charities and organisations to give to youngsters in the region, which means the charity is well on target to deliver more gifts than last year.
Mission Christmas, which is supported by Crown Point Shopping Park and Foresters, delivered more than 14,000 gifts worth over £500,000 to children across Leeds and West Yorkshire in 2012.
Matthew Burton, another Thornhill teacher who starred in the Channel 4 show, said: “It’s something that kids can easily get behind, it’s Yorkshire, it’s local, and it makes a difference to people’s lives.”
Lisa Sullivan, Cash for Kids charity manager, said: “We’re so thankful that the most famous school in the country is backing Mission Christmas.
“Now they are on board we hope we can encourage other schools to follow their lead.”
To get involved in the appeal, you can hand in new and unwrapped gifts at collection points in stores at Crown Point Shopping Park and at Radio Aire, until Wednesday December 19.
Visit: www.radioaire.com or call 0113 2835555 for details.