On Tuesday 16th December, students at Alleyne’s Academy held their very own Christmas market in order to get into the festive spirit, while raising money for a good cause by having their pictures taken with a Dalek, eating reindeer cupcakes and playing “beer pong”, with a noticeable absence of beer. The Dalek was terrifying, the cake was delicious, and the beer pong was laughable.
They weren’t the only things offered, however – golden biscuits, cake pops, and the most scrumptious looking cups of hot chocolate and whipped cream, with marshmallows were also available – it was absolutely brilliant. There were so many things offered for everyone with a sweet tooth or a steady arm, and there was chocolate. There was definitely chocolate.
Upon arriving at the event, around 11:30AM, with the school’s most precious camera securely wrapped around my neck, I was immediately taken in by the decorating: it was cheap and it was incredibly cheerful.
One year ten boy attempted to use wool to pin “pin the tail on Rudolph” to the wall, but was thwarted in his attempt due to the health and safety risk posed to pupils in the product design room. Mrs. Mansfield, an English teacher at Alleyne’s, had her Santa hat on which, despite her stress of organising the event, read anything but “Bah Humbug”. Reindeer antlers, elfin ears and snowflake headbands abounded.
As the event began in earnest, students bustled into the Forester centre like bees, getting their fill of chocolate cake and cookies. There was the sound of bells and laughter as Santa rang his bell proudly, with one of the English teachers waltzing around in her green and red Elf outfit while a student climbed into the Dalek to move it around, scaring the living daylights out of me.
The concept of the Christmas market developed from an initial request from a year 10 student named Loren Pashby. As her grandmother is currently being treated for bowel cancer, she wanted to organise a cake sale in aid of Bowel Cancer UK. The whole year group decided to get involved and the idea of a Christmas market snowballed (pun intended). Loren’s grandmother and grandfather accepted an invitation to join in the fun.
Alleyne’s Academy have also been working hard to help Sanctus, who aim to help those in Stoke-on-Trent who do not have enough funds for food, nappies, clothes and general toiletries. This was a Christmas drive at the market as well, as Christmas means winter, which means the cost of heating homes as well as presents. Students donated generously to the cause, meaning that people who are struggling can perhaps have a brighter Christmas.
Within 45 minutes, over £270 was raised for Bowel Cancer UK. Awareness of this illness, despite it being the fourth most common cancer in the UK, is still scant, as some people are uncomfortable with discussing the symptoms of the illness or don’t actually know what they are. This charity is almost completely dependent on public donations and, although our donation was small in the grand scheme of things, it will change lives. Should you or your family wish to learn more about this charity or the illness it is concerned with, please go to: http://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/. They are also open to donations.
Article & Photographs kindly sumbitted
by Jennifer Edwards