Whybridge Junior School, Rainham, opens doors to Operation Christmas Child for second year running

A big-hearted primary school in Rainham has opened its doors to charity for the second year running.

Whybridge Junior School, on Ford Lane, is hosting 15 volunteers and more than 5,000 boxes of gifts for needy kids as part of the Salvation Army’s Operation Christmas Child.

In previous years, local preparations took place in a Woodford warehouse – but after its closure last year the charity was left homeless until Whybridge head Chris Hobson stepped in and offered up an empty classroom.

“It’s a community project and we’re keen to be an active part of the community,” Mr Hobson told the Recorder. “The volunteers work ever so hard.

“As a community we’ve all got a responsibility to help those less fortunate than ourselves.”

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Rainham Village householder Denise Whybrow, of Ingrebourne Road, coordinates the project for Havering and the surrounding area.

Ms Whybrow, 54, said: “It’s just become bigger and bigger. Word got around and we started going outside to collect shoeboxes. It’s word of mouth in the right place at the right time.

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“We’ve got a fantastic team of volunteers. It’s a passion for us.”

Last week Ms Whybrow gave pupils an assembly about the project – and Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas looked in.

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