A Tauranga cheerleading club's trials had a special twist this year when it jumped on board to support the Bay of Plenty Times' annual Christmas Appeal.

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Earlier this week, a call went out on the Bay Twisters' social media channels, urging club members to bring some non-perishable food items to the trials on Saturday to donate to the appeal for the Tauranga Community Foodbank.

Bay Twisters founder and chairwoman Rebecca Grigson said she was delighted with the response from club members.


"We're grateful to be part of an amazing cause," she said. "We got four bags jam-packed with non-perishable food."

The call for donations would run right through the week as there were a number of parents and children who forgot to bring a can but were keen to contribute.

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Grigson said it gave the children an opportunity to learn about giving back to the community and helping others who were more vulnerable than themselves.

"The parents think it's absolutely fantastic."

Bay Twisters cheerleader Lucy Penellum, 13, said the donations would be helpful for families who struggled to afford Christmas with their family.

"A little bit can go a long way," she said.

Lucy's mother, Andrea Penellum, said she had been a supporter of the Foodbank for a long time and believed it was great that the club made donating so easy.

"It was really cool that the Bay Twisters organised to be a drop-off point as it makes it really easy," she said.


"We can all make a difference. It only has to be a can of beans or Weetbix, but it can take the pressure off someone else."