A DEDICATED team of school pupils have done their bit to help struggling families in the run up to Christmas.

The efforts of Kestrel Class - Year 6 at Allendale Primary School has ensured hundreds of pounds worth of food and other household items will reach people in need.

They wrote to businesses and other community organisations asking them to contribute to their vital mission in support of West Northumberland Food Bank.

The response has been remarkable, with a healthy stash of goods set to be delivered to the Hexham-based food bank, which serves people across the Tynedale district, set to be delivered this week.

The selfless act kindness and goodwill of Kestrel Class has led them to receive an unexpected honour.

They have become the latest recipient of the Hexham's Courant's Bouquet of the Week, acknowledges good citizens who have gone the extra mile to support their community during the coronavirus pandemic.

The efforts of the Allendale Primary School pupils have led to generous donations from parents, families and across the school and local community.

Essity at Prudhoe donated no fewer than 1,000 toilet rolls, while Allendale Co-op contributed £200 worth of shopping items, as well as a cheque for £50.

Donations also flooded in from Allendale's Thornley Leazes Residential Care Home, Allendale Post Office, the King's Head pub in Allendale, Jill's Catering of Catton, the Carts Bog Pub in Langley, and Claire's Newsagents of Haydon Bridge.

Teacher Jenny Porteous said: "The children really wanted to help their local community and have managed to raise an abundance of donations.

"They have put so much effort into this and really wanted to make a difference to those who will benefit from these generous donations."

Miss Porteous said Year 6, the highest year at primary school, is usually a time when pupils would be given roles and responsibilities within school.

She explained: "Things have been different because of Covid this year and this was another way for them to take on a responsibility.

"They have done so well in very challenging circumstances and we are so proud of them."

The children also produced video updates of their progress throughout the project, and responded to the challenge with great enthusiasm.

Miss Porteous added: "We are thankful to every person, business and organisation who have supported us. They really have helped us to achieve something very special and worthwhile this Christmas.

"They have led what has turned out to be a highly successful community initative."