SCHOOL pupils are being invited to support a charity which provides life-changing meals to some of the world’s poorest children every day they attend school.

Children at Hermitage Primary School in Holmes Chapel are being asked to save their old backpacks, rucksacks and school bags in the coming autumn term.

“We will be supporting a charity called Mary's meals Backpack project,” said a school spokesman.

“Along with the ‘As Churches Together’ group we will be sending recycled backpacks filled with stationery items, outgrown sports kit and hygiene items.

“The idea is that recycled and outgrown items, including old backpacks, are sent for the appeal.

“In addition we will be collecting items to fill backpacks, so anything donated will be welcome.

“The backpacks will be sent out through Mary’s Meals Backpack project.

“Although there will be more of a focus on the project in the autumn term, we thought there might be school bags from this year that might otherwise not be kept, that could be donated to this project.

“This is an entirely voluntary and optional project, and anything donated will be gratefully received.”

The backpacks will go to children in Malawi who receive meals through the charity.

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Mary’s Meals, which provides a daily school meal to 1,257,278 children in 15 countries, began transporting lorry-loads of backpacks in 2005 – to help pupils in Malawi get the most out of their education.

The Backpack Project provides children receiving Mary’s Meals with donated backpacks filled with educational items such as pencils and notebooks.

More than 500,000 filled backpacks have been sent from Mary’s Meals supporters to children receiving Mary’s Meals.

The school spokesman added: “It’s hard to believe that another year has gone by and it is the end of the academic year.

“It really hit home as Year 6 did their Leavers’ Assembly. They shared lots of memories, sung songs and the wind band performed their favourite hits.

“We had a special goodbye assembly for Mrs Hewitt and Miss Wilson.

“Both have been long-serving members of the staff team and will be missed by us all.

“We wish them well in the new chapters of their lives as Miss Wilson takes early retirement and Mrs Hewitt moves to a new job.”

The school’s PTFA has raised enough money for a class set of iPads through a programme of events which have taken place this year and with parents and friends support.

The new iPads are to be ordered and set up after the summer break.

The target for the iPads was almost reached by the success of the PTFA summer fair, which raised more than £2,000.

Chairman of governors Brian Donlon thanked the PTFA for the work it does to support the school.