Head teacher saves homeless family from rat infested hell
ALL Saints Primary School s head teacher, Christine Hollidge, visited Romania for one week – and adopted a family.
ALL Saints Primary School's head teacher, Christine Hollidge, visited Romania for one week - and adopted a family.
Mrs Hollidge flew out to Oradea to work with The Smiles Foundation, a charity which aims to relieve poverty and promote education - and help children smile again.
And when she visited a family living under a bridge, with nothing more than a mattress, she was moved to act.
She said: "That was actually upsetting, not just shocking, to think that a family were living like that. They had four young children and one on the way.
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"They couldn't sleep at the same time as one had to stay awake to stop the rats biting them - it was that bad.
"But by Thursday we were moving them into a house. It was like 'mission accomplished', because we saw it through to completion.
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"I think the family were almost speechless. It's a real success story and almost like a miracle for them.
"I feel as if I've been able to make a difference, but it's not just a one off thing as I'm going to continue sponsoring the family."
Mrs Hollidge travelled to the area with her daughter, Lindsey Palmer, after winning a charity prize draw during a concert hosted by the Romanian Children's Choir.
She visited Smile's school and nursery, a gipsy village, and homeless people in the area.
She delivered food parcels in the area and 'sacks of smiles' - bags of presents to children.
But she believes there is still more to do and she hopes to forge links with the school, Tileagd Community School.
Her sponsorship helps feed the family, send the children to school, and she has heard the husband recently started to work.
Mrs Hollidge said: "I think everybody should do something like this at least once in their life. It does really make a difference.
"We think we have poverty in this country, but I have not seen the likes of what I saw in Romania in this country. I think it was a very humbling experience.