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Plymouth College's Banana Tree Project

Reach out

Independent schools have been busy raising funds for those less fortunate this spring

Posted by Stephanie Broad | April 02, 2016 | School life

Year seven students at Plymouth College have raised more than £5,000 for students in Tanzania. For the last five years, Plymouth College year seven students have enthusiastically accepted the challenge of raising £700 to sponsor Steven Mautula, a Tanzanian teenager who is supported by The Banana Tree Project, a UK-based charity run by Plymouth College Head of Sixth Form and Head of History, Mr Beavington.

Steven has spent time living on the streets and in orphanages in Mwanza, as well as being cared for by his local community. Thanks to Plymouth College students, he has been able to attend one of Mwanza's best schools since year seven and he has thrived, earning high grades and prefect status.  

In October 2015, the new cohort of year sevens heard Steven's story and were keen to do their bit. Over a four-month period, students have run, swum, cycled and rowed their way to sponsorship funds. They have baked and sold enough chocolate cake to sink a battleship and sold Christmas decorations, washed cars and sold toys. Every single year seven played their part, even aided by several parents who ran many kilometres dressed as bananas.

The final total raised was £5,342.93. Not only will Steven stay in school this year, but three of his friends will also get their school fees paid with additional funds replacing shoes and buying new stationery. 

Abbey Gate College students recently braved a 10K run in aid of Stroke Association.

Laura Cameron, Harry Hook and Louis Dearling completed the course in one hour and 10 minutes. 

For Laura, it was all for a cause close to home after her dad suffered a stroke at the end of 2015. The national Stroke Association assisted her father in making an exceptional recovery.

Laura said: “We did the run for the Stroke Association because my dad suffered a stroke on Christmas Eve. He lost all ability to move the left side of his body. He has made a great recovery and even came to watch us run! I’m very proud to have raised the money with Louis and Harry to assist the charity in helping more families.”

Between them, the trio raised a fantastic £2,000 for the charity.

Bolton School’s Junior Girls recently raised money for Sport Relief by coming into school wearing their pyjamas inside-out and making a one pound donation.

All pupils in years three to six also completed the Sport Relief Mile. In the afternoon, the children were joined by the nursery class for three and four year-olds for a ‘danceathon’ for Sport Relief. 

Children at Bolton School’s Nursery were raising money and awareness for Sport Relief all week. The children got involved with a variety of activities, including making their own healthy food and smoothies, and taking part in an obstacle course!

A King Edward’s Witley pupil completed a solo 165km charity cycle challenge during Sport Relief weekend, to raise funds for a charity close to his heart.

Ed Kernick, an upper sixth form pupil, set himself a tough personal challenge to ride a route which features significant sites associated with the history of the school. His goal was to raise funds for the Bridewell Foundation, the charity that awarded him a bursary and supported him through his seven years of study at King Edward’s. 

Ed Kernick

Training for the event commenced eight months ago for Ed, starting with high intensity workouts using watt bikes in the gym, while he looked for a sponsor. Surrey-based bike company, Bike Swanky, lent Ed a ‘De Rosa’ road bike, he switched his training to outdoors, cycling around 20km five times a week after school as he fitted his strict regime around a busy school work schedule. 

Ed, who is from Whitechapel, East London, says, “The Bridewell Foundation truly is a foundation for life. I feel honoured to have had the privilege of being a pupil at King Edward’s Witley and I’m determined to do all that I can to enable other young people like myself to benefit from an education at King Edward’s and enjoy the same advantages that I’ve had.”

To date more than £4,500 has been raised from parents, Old Witleians, staff and pupils at the school. 

At King Alfred School in London, children and staff displayed their sporting prowess in a range of activities to raise money for Sport Relief. Staff representatives from every department cycled and rowed in shifts all day and through the night for 24 hours, with an in-house DJ to encourage them during the challenge.  A total of £2,424.24 was raised for the 24 hour cycle and rowathon challenge alone. Every year group ran a Sport Relief Mile in their chosen style, running the equivalent from Birmingham to London. Year seven students produced a zombie film entitled Infected, which they screened, complete with popcorn for the audience and all donations went to Sport Relief.

The amount raised so far by the school this year is £2,700. This will be added to the amounts raised over the last number of years for the Sport Relief fund. The money raised will help transform the lives of some of the most disadvantaged people both at home in the UK and across the world’s poorest communities.

Robert Lobatto, Headteacher, said: “This year we have seen every year group at the school participate in our Sport Relief fundraising and contribute in their own unique way. It is a rich tradition amongst the children to support others and I am very proud of them for their efforts.” 

Charity rugby match at Oundle School

For the eighth year, girls from Oundle School’s Sixth Form recently joined together to play a game of rugby in memory of former pupil, Thommy Purbrook.

Thommy’s career at Oundle was tragically cut short when she died from meningitis whilst on a School trip to St Petersburg in December 2008. Thommy’s time at Oundle was marked by her enthusiasm, energy and determination and one of her many talents was rugby – she was Captain of the girls’ rugby team.

The money raised this year will go to Meningitis Now, a charity dedicated to helping those affected with Meningitis providing vital support into the research for its treatment. This year’s match took place on 20 March and so far has already raised £4,100.

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