A school has joined forces with Arsenal football player, Mesut Özil, to help bring comfort to thousands of people facing hardship during the festive season. 

Pupils and staff at Eden Girls’ School, Waltham Forest teamed up with the German footballer’s charity, Warmer Winters, as part of the school’s annual Festive Winter Gift Programme. 

Özil’s Warmer Winters campaign aims to provide 50,000 healthy meals and 10,000 gift packages to people in need over the course of one week between December 20th-24th. 

The school was able to deliver 1,100 meals to the YMCA, Christian Kitchen, Age UK and Salvation Army to help the vulnerable in the local community. 

The distribution of hot meals also formed part of the school’s commitment to its ‘Food for All Week’ where 29 schools across the Star Academies multi-academy trust distributed 50,000 food parcels and meals to those experiencing food poverty.

Staff and pupils helped to support the Warmer Winters charity by holding several fundraisers, including a ‘wear a sparkly jumper day’ and a ‘bring a dish’ sale where members of staff brought a selection of tasty home-cooked dishes to sell. 

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Mesut Özil sent pupils a special video message of thanks that was played during a special assembly where five framed and signed photos of the star were presented to pupils who had made a significant contribution to the fundraiser.

Pupils also collected items for over 100 ‘COVID-19 Survival Kits’, which contained sanitisation kits, sweet treats and food and drink. The survival kits were donated to Christian Kitchen and the YMCA. Festive gifts were also collected and donated to the Salvation Army and Age UK. 

Shahina Ahmad, Principal at Eden Girls’ School, Waltham Forest, said that pupils had demonstrated enthusiasm and real commitment to this year’s Festive Winter Gift campaign.
She said: “As a school, we want our pupils to not only achieve exceptional results and grades, but more importantly, to become exceptional human beings. 

“Our Festive Winter Gift campaign gives our pupils the chance to understand the power of giving and the importance of helping others.

“This year, our pupils and staff were very excited by the opportunity to partner with the legendary footballer, Mesut Özil’s charity. His example of philanthropy has been truly inspiring for us all. 

“This has been an incredibly difficult year for many, but through their work, our pupils have learnt that they are still able to contribute positively to help create change for those less fortunate.”