Year 11 Put Friendship at the Heart of Fundraising for The Felix Project
Last week our Year 11 students put creativity at the heart of their fundraising initiatives for The Felix Project, in a unique experiential event inspired by World Mental Health Day.
Recognising the important role friendships can have on mental health, ‘Rent-A-Friend’, the brainchild of charity reps, Jemima H-J, Katie M, aimed to connect older and younger students while raising money through an auction inspired method.
The main hall was turned into an auction house last Friday for the launch event, where the lead auctioneer (a Year 11 student) pitched the merits and positive characteristics of several friends within the Year 11s to encourage bids from younger year groups. The winning bidder was then be partnered with their newly found Year 11 friend.
Commenting on how the idea came about Jemima said, “When we were planning our charity event, we wanted something that would integrate all of the school years – and show what a supportive community we are. We didn’t want a charity event that would only raise money, we also wanted to create an experience. When we were brainstorming ideas for the event, we recalled being in the younger years of the school and how we would have welcomed any form of advice from our older peers, all of whom seemed a little scary and unapproachable at the time to a year 7. So through this event, we are also showing that it’s possible to connect and that reaching out is enjoyable.”
Here’s what some of our younger students made of Renting a Friend:
“This charity event was an opportunity to chat with some very kind Year 11s who were very helpful in the questions that were asked. We asked questions such as: how to get over stage fright when singing, GCSEs in art and a few other things as well. They also gave us sweets and brownies. It was really nice to get a chance to chat with them, as sometimes it is hard to open up to your friends.” – Isabella and Rakhi Year 8
“The Year 11 rent-a-friend charity event was an extremely fun event! It started off by one of the Year 11s presenting each of the Year 11 volunteers and their qualities so you could find whichever one suited your preferences for what you wanted to talk to them about. The first Year 11s that my friends and I rented were Megan and Tara, so we asked them about debating tips and tricks. They had a wide range of knowledge and managed to fulfill our requests and what we wanted to know. The final Year 11 that we rented was Salem, who we asked about public speaking and singing. She again had a lot of knowledge and also told us about opportunities at school that we could use to practice and develop our skills. Overall, this event was a great experience and opportunity, not to mention all the Year 11s were extremely kind and helpful throughout the event.” – Ajuni Y ear 8
Mrs Johnson, Charities Co-ordinator, said “As a school, fundraising, volunteering and building strong community values are core to everything we do. Students are happier when they feel connected – and this is vital within the context of their wellbeing. When focusing on charity, we feel it is important the students research their charities and align their choices with causes that are important to them. They are then given the responsibility of choosing the charity, contacting them, coming up with the fundraising ideas and doing all the leg work in order to bring their ideas to life (including the paperwork!). Coming up with unique ideas to raise money can often be a challenge so it’s to their credit that this team of students devised this inventive approach to fundraising.”