More than 175 gifts have been donated to a raffle held by children at a pupil referral unit.
The raffle is being held to thank NHS staff for their hard work throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Each year, children at the Learning Centre, in Glan y Nant, near Pengam, choose a charity to support over Christmas.
Normally, the children would hold a Christmas bake sale for the local community, but the ongoing pandemic meant this wasn’t possible.
Instead, they decided to hold a raffle, with all proceeds being used to thank local NHS staff.
The Learning Centre caters for children who aren’t able to attend a mainstream school.
Pupils who are referred there often need greater care and support than their school is able to provide.
Children who attend the unit may be suffering with emotional or behavioural difficulties, such as anger or mental health issues.
Some children may have experienced severe bullying or been diagnosed with special educational needs (SEN).
Rhys Bain, of the Learning Centre, said: “The aim was to purchase small gifts for NHS staff, whether it being a box of chocolates or biscuits etc.
“The response we’ve received from local businesses and the community has been amazing. With their support we’ve managed to accumulate over 175 gifts – ranging from chocolates and biscuits to luxury bath sets, and even the odd tipple.
“The pupils and staff of the Learning Centre have worked continuously over the past few weeks, selling raffle tickets, collecting donations, writing Christmas cards and wrapping gifts.
Mr Bain added: “Without their efforts, this would not have been possible.
“They did ever so well – over 175 gifts from a school that currently has only 24 pupils is amazing.
“I’m so proud of them all.”
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The children were praised by Caerphilly’s Senedd Member, Hefin David, who said: “It is wonderful to see how much the children of the Learning Centre have achieved through their raffle.
“Their hard work in raising the gifts is evident and I know that they’ve made several NHS staff feel very valued through their generosity. Well done everyone, you should be very proud of yourselves.”
Dr David added: “I’d also like to thank the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board for responding so quickly to the request to deliver to the hospital, especially during these difficult times.
“A huge thank you to all who work in our NHS and in the Learning Centre for making this happen.”
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