A chocolate raffle at St. Mary’s Catholic Federation, Carshalton, for Pact’s Operation Elf Appeal brings hope and cheer for prisoners and their families.

14th December 2021 Off By Claire Williams

The children at St. Mary’s Catholic Federation, Carshalton have been learning Bernadette Farrell’s hymn ‘Christ is our Light’ and last week the message contained in their beautiful singing was reinforced by the generous donations for Pact’s (Prison Advice and Care Trust) Operation Elf appeal.  Staff donated the chocolate and pupils were invited to donate £2 in a named envelope.

At the Infant School, early on Thursday morning, Mary Bear sat patiently waiting for Sing and Praise to begin, keeping watch over the numbered chocolate donations and the envelopes emptied of money. Once the children were assembled, there was much excitement as teachers passed the box around for pupils to pick out a winning envelope.

Meanwhile, at the Junior School the Y6 Chaplaincy Team had been busy for the past few weeks:  promoting the appeal, sorting out the envelopes and making sure the chocolate was correctly labelled.  One of the pupils’ posters was so good that Pact used it to publicise the appeal nationally.  Andy Keen-Downs, Pact’s Chief Executive Officer, was very impressed!

Both staff and pupils were delighted to hear that the appeal raised the magnificent amount of £1,010!

All the money raised has been converted into £10 gift cards which means that 101 prisoners in HMP Downview will now be able to give a gift card to their children at one of the Christmas family days.

“No-one can face life in isolation…we need a community which helps and supports us.” (Fratelli Tutti, 8)