Every autumn we celebrate the Harvest Festival at school. It is a time where we are reminded of the fortunate lives that we lead.We are reminded to be grateful. But where did the Harvest Festival originate from?

The tradition of celebrating Harvest Festival is said to have begun in 1843, when a Reverend named Robert Hawker invited churchgoers to a special thanksgiving service for the harvest at his church in Cornwall. Victorian hymns such as "We plough the fields and scatter" helped spread his idea of harvest festival as well as popularise the annual custom of decorating churches with home-grown produce for the Harvest service.

The Harvest Festival has not changed much, even after 177 years.Although nowadays, schools tend to focus more upon philanthropy rather than the religious aspects of harvest in order to make the festival more inclusive.  

At my school, we usually organise a ‘Harvest Box’ competition, where each form decorates a cardboard box in which we place all of our food donations and the best boxes receive prizes. These boxes are then taken to local food banks and are then distributed throughout the community.

The current pandemic has meant that this year, we were unable to create such boxes due to numerous issues. However, this has not stopped us.

Our school has raised £550 for local food banks in Dartford and Help The Aged.Students also brought along bags filled with a variety of tinned foods, which were donated alongside the money.

It seems clear to me that now, more than ever before,unity and teamwork play an unimaginable role in making a change within our society.By doing the little things, donating food and toiletries,giving money to charities and even just raising awareness, can help make a big change in our society