STAFF and pupils at a North Yorkshire secondary school have been working hard to try and make Christmas special this year for vulnerable children abroad.

Barlby High School, has once again partnered with a charity in Romania, providing filled shoeboxes for children who otherwise would not receive a present this Christmas.

Staff and students packed 58 boxes in total, each one filled with toys, stationery, sweets, hats, scarves, gloves and other items donated by students, parents/carers, teachers and their families and even some retired teachers.

The shoebox scheme is run by charity Cry in the Dark, which works with diverse groups of children and young people. Each shoebox is created for a specific child and filled with gifts appropriate to that individual.

The Barlby High community has made a fantastic contribution towards the charity’s total of Christmas shoeboxes which are now on their way to Romania.

Barlby High School is part of the Hope Learning Trust which has a longstanding relationship with Cry in the Dark.

A number of students and staff from Hope have spent time volunteering in Romania on one of the charity’s many projects.

Last year a group of Year 10 students from Barlby High volunteered in Romania, working with children living in poverty and a further group will return in July 2020 to meet some of the recipients of the shoeboxes.

Students at the school are also preparing for voluntary work in Malawi next year, through the Mbedza Project.

Vice Principal, Fiona Lee, said: “Everyone has done a marvellous job in putting the shoeboxes together and this project has given our students the opportunity to demonstrate our school values of kindness and compassion.

"The students have put so much effort in and it is particularly special as often they get to know a little bit about the recipient of the gifts.

“We’re all really proud of our students and their dedication to helping others.

"They have been continuing to raise money through a non-uniform day at the end of last month and we will be holding a Christmas jumper day on the last day of this term.”

The school made the headlines earlier this year when Year 8 students from Barlby High School heard testimony from Mr Schatzberger as part of a visit organised by the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET).

Marc, 92, was born to Jewish parents in Vienna in 1926.

In 1938 the Nazi party annexed Austria to Germany. Marc’s parents took the heartbreaking decision to send their only child, aged 12½, away to Britain, on a Kindertransport.