When we started as charity prefects in May 2021 we were able to pick the three main charities we wanted to support in our turn as prefects. We chose a local charity, Reading Education Centre, an international charity, Sakhi and an animal charity, SAFE.
In addition to this we, as a school, have regular charities that we support every year such as Macmillan and Jeans for Genes as well as occasional donations to charities to causes that were incredibly prevalent at the time. As a school community we have been incredibly successful in fundraising for charitable causes and we wish to celebrate our success as a community.
One of the first events we arranged was a dress down day for the entire Senior School in aid of the British Asian trust which is an organisation that helped supply hospitals in India with oxygen tanks for patients in desperate need. Alongside this, with the charity reps in Lower IV and Upper IV we were able to arrange two successful bake sales, in their bubbled year groups that also raised money for this cause.
Overall, we managed to raise £998 for this charity, which was enough to contribute to supporting a hospital with a sustainable, permanent supply of oxygen as well as giving enough money to support 20 families of 5 with essential food rations for a month. This was a wonderful effort from everyone and a great achievement as a community that supported the oxygen crisis in India.
Another cause was the charity Me Too. This charity is important to many in the school including the Sixth Form where some students volunteer with this charity in their spare time. Me Too is a charity that works to support disabled children, young people and families in the UK by providing a range of support including peer support, befriending services, activities and holiday clubs for disabled children, outreach and information and advice for families.
Previous fundraising for the Upper V prom in 2020 which was cancelled due to covid was donated to this charity in 2021 as well as money raised by a Lower V bake sale. We donated £306 for Me Too from our various fundraising events in honour of our friend and fellow classmate Alexandra as this charity was a cause she was passionate about.
A big way to raise money in the school community is a dress down day. The Senior School has standard dress down days at various points in terms that are held yearly to fundraise for causes such as Jeans for Genes which supports people struggling with genetic conditions and Macmillan which supports people and their families living with cancer. This year we are happy to announce we raised £738 for Jeans for Genes and £911 for Macmillan
As charity prefects, we have coordinated with the school and charity reps in the lower years to fundraise money for our chosen charities. Through an animal themed dress down day at the Senior School we raised £355 for SAFE (Saving Abandoned Fly-grazing Equine), which is a charity that rescues abandoned horses in the Berkshire and Surrey area. We also announced the Lower V charity event, where each form is able to plan and carry out their own fundraising event which will raise money for Sakhi, a charity that supports girls’ education in Mumbai Slums.
Sakhi provides safe education for girls as well as providing information and support for their families on the importance of an education as previously girls would be pulled out of school to work and provide for their family. Lower VD began the string of events with a secret santa fundraising event before the Christmas break and Lower VHB continued with a charity bake sale on 1 February. We look forward to seeing what the other forms have planned for this term as well and with a great start to the fundraising we can’t wait to see how much the whole of Lower V are able to raise for Sakhi.
Every year the Senior School does a Christmas jumper day to raise money for Launchpad which is a charity in Reading that works to prevent homelessness, provide homes and rebuild lives. Especially in winter and at Christmas, homelessness is an incredibly difficult situation to get out of and Launchpad can provide temporary accommodation for 6-12 months while people can then work with support officers to make a plan for the future and to help get their lives back on track. In addition to the Christmas jumpers, Lower IV also contributed to this fundraising with a Bake sale in the Richards Hall and overall, as a school community, we were able to raise over £700 for this important cause.
At the end of December The German and Charity groups teamed up to hold a very successful German Market afternoon for the whole Senior School and Lower III from the Junior School were able to attend. With Bratwurst on offer as well as stalls selling a variety of German treats, baked by German students at the Senior School, Christmas cards, tie dyed accessories and much more, it was a lovely school event that raised £360 for the Reading Education Centre.
This is a local charity that supports children who have fallen out of mainstream education whether due to learning difficulties, behavioural issues or family struggles that have just made it hard for them to learn in a mainstream environment. A couple of charity prefects video-called with Cerys, one of the main staff at the centre, and we talked about making connections between our schools as they are very local to us, being only 15 minutes away and we look forward to being able to visit them in person very soon.
As well as the student-led events this year, Senior School staff put on a bake sale in December which raised £260 for Thames Valley Hospice. Thames Valley Hospice provides support, palliative and end-of-life care, giving comfort and dignity to those facing a terminal illness.
I hope this has brought your attention to all the various activities we as a school community have undertaken for various different charities as we congratulate ourselves for raising over £4,500 for charity since we took over as Charity prefects in May. We still have some more events to go including the Sixth Form’s charity evening taking place in March and hope to increase this total in our upcoming events this term before we pass on our role to the incoming Lower VI.
The Charity Prefects