Charities & Volunteering Goes from Strength to Strength
By Mrs Johnson, Charities Co-Ordinator
Firstly, well done to the Year 10s who raised over £700 for Women’s Aid in the second half of the autumn term. The year group raised funds through various junior school breaktime activities, bake sales and the candy cane delivery. The charity works to create a fairer and more inclusive society in which everyone can succeed regardless of race, ethnicity or background.
Our charity and volunteering activities have continued to flourish this first half of term, particularly with a flurry of activities from the Year 9s, who have been busy with their fundraising activities for their chosen charity, Ashiana, which provides refuge services for South Asian, Turkish & Iranian women. They kicked off events with a highly entertaining staff ‘Masked Singer’ followed up by a ‘Would I Lie to You’ again featuring our staff! Midweek they have been holding bake sales which have proved very popular with hungry students at breaktime! This Friday has been designated a “Wear Purple Day” in aid of the charity where students can come into school wearing purple in exchange for a £1 donation to the charity. There is also a Mini Masterchef event planned before half term – which teacher will make the best decorated cake or tastiest dish?
We held another one of our popular Modern Foreign Languages Film evenings last week, with Mandarin taking the spotlight through Chinese language film (English subtitles) “The Monkey King: Hero is Back.” All ticket sales proceeds went to the Harrow Club.
Following our Care 4 Calais clothing and toy collections last term for refugees in the local area, this term we have been collecting donations of old devices (mobile phones, laptop and tablets) for the charity. The tech donations will support young persons who are refugees in the Ealing area and are intended to help them as they start on their homework, particularly for GCSE and A levels. Please let Mrs Johnson know if you are able to help.
We will also be holding a new ‘sponsored sleepout event’ in March where students will be sponsored to experience a night of outdoor living. Students will be encouraged to spend the night outdoors to hopefully gain a bit of an understanding of what it is like to be homeless in this country. They will be encouraged to build their own shelter out of cardboard boxes to keep themselves as warm as possible for the night.
Ahead of World Water Day on March 22nd, we will also be running events and raising awareness for Water Aid, including a session reflecting on gratitude for water with our Humanitarian Reps.
Our Year 10 and 11 volunteering goes from strength to strength with numbers of students heading out every Tuesday to volunteer at the Honey and Grape Farm at Horsenden Hill, helping the Park Ranger in Ealing Parks, litter picking, assisting with reading at local schools, helping out at our swimming pool and singing at local care homes.
Some students have found their own charity/volunteering work, including Carmen H and Lola T in Year 10 who have been working closely with the charity Days for Girls.
Carmen explained about her work for the charity, “I currently volunteer for an amazing international charity called Days for Girls. This charity educates girls in developing countries about hygiene, menstruation, reproduction, self-defence and human trafficking. The charity has been running for 12 years and has reached 2 million girls in 144 different countries. These schoolgirls do not have any access to menstrual kits and have to miss many days off school. The West London DFG group was set up a few years ago and is based in Hanwell/ Ealing and have received feedback from these girls first hand on what a difference a kit makes to them. We create reusable hygiene kits for the girls by hand sewing liners and bags and putting them together in hygiene kits which we rely heavily on donations of colourful, cotton knickers, 100% cotton fabric, travel soaps and flannels. Each kit should last one schoolgirl a minimum of 3 years. As the local team for this charity, we have already provided more than 1000 kits to school girls in underdeveloped countries. More recently over Christmas 160 kits that we packed are currently on the way to Somalia.”
The group would love some help in getting the next set of kits sent out. We will also be running a collection and fundraising towards the end of April – If anyone would like to contribute in the meantime, please get in touch with Mrs Johnson via email.
In the meantime, for Fairtrade Fortnight (February 21 – March 6) our Humanitarian Leaders will be collaborating with our partner school, The Academy of Notre Dame de Namur in Philadelphia to discuss Fairtrade on both sides of the Atlantic – an online discussion which will help our progress towards our next school Fairtrade Award. They will also be going over to Junior School later this month to talk to the Juniors about the importance of buying Fairtrade.
We are also encouraging students to get involved with a competition run by the charity HART (Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust) is running a competition to raise awareness of human rights in the countries in which they work. To enter, students need to produce a piece of artwork or a short essay (800 words). The deadline is Friday 28th February. Our Humanitarian Leaders will also be working with other Leaders and Reps as part of our NHEHS Global Cultures Day in March.
Our Charity Reps Sophie A and Niamh M have also been working hard in the background on putting together a fantastic school Charity Newsletter and creating a new volunteering tab within the Students’ Noticeboard to encourage more people to sign up and help local charities.
Finally, after half term, the Year group charity baton will pass from Year 9 to Year 8 who have voted to support Beat – a charity which supports individuals suffering with eating disorders. We look forward to seeing what innovative fundraising initiatives the Year 8s can come up with!
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