Students at Ormiston Ilkeston Enterprise Academy have donated hundreds of items of food to a project which supports vulnerable people on their own at Christmas.

Each pupil at the academy was asked to bring in a donation in return for wearing their own clothes to school.

The food that was collected has been donated to Operation Ilkestonian and will be used for the project’s lunch clubs over the festive period and a Christmas party at Cotmanhay Pavilion. This is the 11th year that the academy has supported the project, run by Community Concern Erewash, which helps vulnerable people who are on their own at Christmas. 

Sally Castle, Technology teacher at OIEA, organises the collection every year. She said: “We have been supporting Operation Ilkestonian for 11 years now and we’ve even had some of our students help cook dinners with Community Concern Erewash on Christmas Day in the past.

“We started helping when we heard that the project was no longer receiving Lottery funding and we asked what we could do.

“We are thrilled with the amount that our students have collected and they are probably thinking about the elderly people they see at the shop or at the bus stop.”


Students Keeley Pearson, 13, Tegan Cox, 12, Ellie Alcock, 13, Grace Clarke, 13, Kaitlyn Sisson, 12 and Amber Glenn,13, helped to sort the donations which included mince pies, homemade cakes, gravy granules, biscuits and drinks.

Keeley said: “It’s a really nice thing to do and I like the idea of helping people who are on their own at Christmas. I think it brings the community together.”

Elaine Scogings, from Community Concern Erewash, thanked OIEA students for their support. She said: “We want to thank Ormiston Ilkeston Enterprise Academy students for their wonderful donations.

“We also receive support from the Ilkeston Rotary Club and would like to thank them too.

“Our lunch club operates twice a week and we serve meals in and take them out. The dry goods will last us throughout Christmas and we will make gift parcels out of the food that has a shorter sell-by date.

“It’s lovely to see young people getting involved with our project and thinking about people who are on their own.”

Anyone who would like more information about Operation Ilkestonian can call Community Concern Erewash on 0115 9444146.

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