RGS Charity Summer Review 2018
This academic year, RGS have worked hard to develop the role of charity within the school. There has been an attempt to engage the students with more than just fundraising; as a school, we have tried to raise awareness of causes and encourage students to give up time, as well as money, and involve themselves in volunteering. It has been a busy and successful year from this perspective, with lots of activities and fundraising taking place and some wonderful responses from both the students and staff. We hope that the slight shift in the way that we are now viewing charity and the concept of giving will have an impact on the way students and staff approach fundraising.
In November the first form raised an amazing £4060 for Lepra through a range of activities – one of the most entrepreneurial being the producing and selling of home-made slime! Prior to the fundraising, one of the Lepra volunteers came in to discuss how victims of leprosy are affected by this cruel disease and what fundraising for lepra can do to support these victims. She returned, after they had finished the fundraising and explained in real terms how the money raised was tangibly helping. It was wonderful to see the students responding to this information, it was clear on their faces that they felt proud to have done something to help. They then celebrated this achievement with a zumbathon, dressed in electric 80’s gear and danced their socks off for the morning!
At the start of February, James Leck and Tiger FS organised for a speaker from St Catherine’s Hospice to come in and carry out a Q&A session with Cranston House. It was a hugely poignant and thoughtful session, with the students completely engaged in the discussion about the services that St Catherine’s provide to those in their care. Tiger asked some meaningful and important questions, which raised awareness of the reasons why it has been selected as the house charity and emphasised it’s local and personal connection to our school.
Our growing relationship with Loveworks continues, with lots of excellent work happening here. The newly appointed Sixth Form Charity Committee has worked hard to develop the links between Loveworks and RGS. We recently visited the café and foodbank in Merstham, we were given a tour of the kitchen and food store. Graham, one of the volunteers, gave the students an amazing insight into the power of foodbanks and how important it is that they exist. The students were both respectful and thoughtful and then we had a brainstorming session, they came up with some brilliant ideas about how we can continue to support Loveworks with both fundraising and volunteering. Watch this space for some developments in Lovework’s social media campaign and more events to come in the Autumn.
The first form ended the year with a readathon in aid of the Tuberous Sclerosis Association (tsa). Rachel Ellen delivered a powerful assembly explaining how tuberous sclerosis affects families and has affected a family within our own school community. We then launched the readathon, encouraging students to gain sponsorship for every book completed. The students were enthusiastic and one form managed to raise £450 alone! We are still awaiting the final figures, but overall it was a huge success and we are really pleased that we raised both awareness and money for more families affected by this disease.
These are just a selection of some of the highlights of the year, but there are many more to mention – including Coloured Shirt Fridays in the Sixth Form for MIND, mufti-days for the RGS Foundation’s Changing Lives charity, Run Reigate, the Christmas Tea Party at Reigate St Mary’s Church, a Christmas jumper day in aid of The Children’s Society, students volunteering to marshal Year 5 and 6 at the RSM Twilight Walk and Miss Hare taking some of the cast of Guys and Dolls to perform songs at a local elderly home. It is lovely to see the students engaging with a variety of worthwhile causes and building important links with our local charities and the community as a whole.
As the academic year comes to a close the very nature of Activities Week reflects the commitment of the school to excellent charitable causes with long-standing partnerships such as the Pram Race for St Catherine’s Hospice and Meningitis Now and the Tadworth Court Run ever present. Earlier in the week the Fourth Form visited St Catherine’s Hospice as part of their Community and Careers Day and the students met and got to know the people who are going to be the beneficiaries of their fundraising. For RGS students this year charity really has been about the cause and the community, not just the cash.