On Tuesday 20th June Miss Baker and the Hellesdon SHIELD team organised a whole-school donation to The Peoples’ Picnic, a Norwich food bank which meets twice a week at the Haymarket in Norwich.
Our plan was to raise awareness at Hellesdon High School of the work The Peoples’ Picnic achieve in Norwich via a video we made and posted to the HHS Facebook page. We also showed the footage in tutor times with a plea for donations from students and staff.
After school on Tuesday, some younger SHIELD pupils prepared a range of sandwiches to take to The Peoples’ Picnic. Pupils threw themselves enthusiastically into the challenge!
When we’d researched homelessness in Norwich prior to our trip we’d been shocked by the high numbers of people who use this foodbank for both hot meals and supplies (clothes, sleeping bags and dried foods) but nothing could have prepared us for what we encountered. There was a huge crowd of people when we arrived at 8pm and the atmosphere was excited and very noisy.
The sixth form students who accompanied Miss Baker to deliver the sandwiches and tinned goods to the homeless and vulnerable were invited to meet the crowd, distributing bottles of water and flavoured drinks to those queuing.
The sandwiches we made went within ten minutes and our bags of donations were sorted by the volunteers at The People’s Picnic to be given to those most in need.
Speaking after their experience, the sixth form students praised the volunteers who organise the twice weekly food banks. Georgia Leeds said “I spoke to one man who told me the food we supplied will go far. I found that really touching.” Scott Palframan expressed surprise at how many people there were using the facilities, “I was shocked at how busy it was there this evening. It shows you what a great need there is in Norwich”.
English teacher Miss Baker said “It was profoundly moving to see so many people of all different ages and walks of life coming together and using this service. The Peoples’ Picnic organisers are absolute heroes and clearly care deeply about the people they are supporting. Hellesdon’s SHIELD team are proud to support such a worthy and vital cause.”