The Mayor of Redcar and Cleveland, Councillor Barry Hunt, will be visiting Huntcliff School on Saltburn Learning Campus on 14 December to speak to the students about his Christmas Sleep Out and to celebrate the work carried out by the school to support the local community.
The Mayor will be sleeping out on Redcar High Street from 9pm to 8am on both 24 and 25 December. All money raised will go to Redcar’s Coatham House, a charity which provides safe accommodation for young people in housing need, and Earthbeat, a theatre group for adults with learning disabilities.
Breda Collins from Coatham House will also be giving a talk to the students and ex-residents will be sharing their experiences of how they became homeless, and how the charity helped them to get back on their feet and the struggles along the way.
Huntcliff’s new REACH project (Respect, Educate & Act for Community Hope) is not only working with Coatham House but supporting older people with a Christmas Party on 9 December, and promoting the campus’s joint campaign to help the local Food Bank along with Saltburn Primary School; who are doing a Christmas Jumper & Hat Day on 8 December to also raise funds for local charity, Zoe’s Place.
Sarah Smith, Technology Teacher and REACH Project founder, said that she is moved by the level of student engagement in such a short space of time; she said, “this is testament to the huge amount of compassion, as well as experience and creativity within the school”. The REACH Project group meets regularly and is currently spending time making food and decorations for the party, putting things together for Coatham House and planning the work they’ll carry out in the spring. Julia Rayson in Saltburn Primary School is leading an additional drive for donations for another homeless charity, Bridge House; and Rebecca Alderson, RPE Teacher at Huntcliff, is leading an exciting inter-form advent calendar activity for additional support to the Food Bank.
Huntcliff has chosen Coatham House as the youth project by way of collecting shoe boxes filled with Christmas gifts and clothing, which they will be presenting on the day of the Mayor’s visit. Breda Collins manager of Coatham House said “I am so pleased to see young people helping other young people who are not as fortunate as themselves this Christmas and the shoe boxes will make fantastic gifts for the young people living in our supported accommodation and on behalf of everyone at Coatham House I would like to say a huge thanks to teachers and students for nominating us for their REACH Project”.
Cllr Barry Hunt said: “I’m delighted to visit Huntcliff to speak to the students about the sleep out, but also to congratulate them on how well they have done on their REACH project in getting involved with the local community; both the elderly and the young homeless”.