Bishop Vesey students ready to wrap gifts as ‘Giving Tree’ returns to Gracechurch

Caring students from Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School took hours to lovingly bedeck the Christmas Tree that stands in the Gracechurch Shopping Centre – but now they want shoppers to help themselves to the decorations.

That’s because each of the tags that cover Bishop Vesey’s ‘Giving Tree’ bear a festive message asking shoppers to buy something for the school’s charity appeal, along with an item that is needed.

This is the second year that the Gracechurch has hosted the tree, which came from an idea by Upper Sixth Former Elijah Nix.

Supporting three charities and two primary schools to bring a little Christmas joy, last year Elijah and several of the school’s other Development Interns collected, wrapped, and gifted over 1300 presents. This year they hope to repeat the success.

“We are very proud of all the students who have volunteered to get involved in the scheme, which hopes to spread a little Christmas cheer at the end of a
challenging year,”
– Dominic Robson, headteacher of Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School

The good causes being supported this Christmas are homeless charity St Basil’s, Birmingham City Mission, the Salvation Army and the Sutton Coldfield Chamber of Commerce’s chosen charity – the Sutton Coldfield YMCA.

Students have now unveiled the tree, which was donated by William Wheat and Son, in Sutton Town Centre with all the necessary COVID restrictions in the place.

The idea is simple: shoppers can take tags from the tree in the Gracechurch Centre, each of which contain the details of something that is needed by someone this Christmas.

Items can vary from clothing for the homeless to festive treats for struggling families. Gifts can then be placed back in the baskets by the tree, where Bishop Vesey’s students will collect and wrap them before delivering the parcels to local charities in time for Christmas.

The tree will be manned from 2.30-5.00pm every weekday and from 10am-3.00pm every Saturday and Sunday. The last day for collections will be Sunday December 20.

Dominic Robson, headteacher of Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School, said; “The Giving Tree is becoming something of an annual tradition for our school and we hope that shoppers and residents will be as generous as they were last Christmas.

“We are very proud of all the students who have volunteered to get involved in the scheme, which hopes to spread a little Christmas cheer at the end of a challenging year.”

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