Two blankets made out of used crisp packets by children in St George’s School Windsor Castle’s Eco Club have this week been donated to Bracknell-based charity Pilgrim Hearts Trust for use by local homeless people.
The blankets, which were each made from over 100 crisp packets, were originally inspired by a story explaining the process on BBC Newsround earlier in the year. This led to a school-wide call for donations of empty packets, followed by the school’s Eco Club, a group of 15 children aged from seven to 13, spending several hours washing, cutting and ironing them together.
The resulting blankets, which each measured approximately two metres wide, were collected by Dr Natasha Price, parent to two children at the school and a local GP and clinical lead for outreach to the homeless. Dr Price then passed these on to Pilgrim Hearts Trust during one of her mobile clinics for the charity, who have since distributed them to local people in need of shelter.
“I am so immensely proud that the children’s hard work has benefited such a worthwhile cause,” said Emily Ralfe, Year 4 teacher and Eco Club leader at St George’s School Windsor Castle. “It required real commitment from the children to put the hours in that were needed and not only have we helped two people to stay warmer as a result, we have also prevented over 200 crisp packets from ending up in landfill.”
In addition to making blankets, the Eco Club, who meet weekly on Thursday afternoons, have also been working on creating eco bricks which they plan to use to build a bench in the school playground. Both initiatives are part of the school’s drive to become an Eco-School and earn a coveted Green Flag Award.
“Pilgrim Hearts Trust exists to give a hand up not a hand out to the homeless and those on the edge of society,” explained Elaine Chalmers-Brown, who founded the charity in 2000. “Dr Price’s outreach clinic at our drop in service is a great benefit to our guests and the blankets made by the children at St George’s School Windsor Castle will be extremely useful for the homeless men and women sleeping rough in cold, wet conditions.”
Pilgrim Hearts Trust drop in centres in Bracknell operate from 11am to 2pm each Tuesday at St Andrews Church in Priestwood Court Road and each Thursday at the Methodist Church in Shepherds Lane. Further information about the charity can be found at www.pilgrimhearts.org.uk.