Saint Felix whole-school walk raises over £1500

The walk helped teach pupils about their school's fascinating origins, with money raised set to be donated to Southwold's Loft Youth Centre

A whole-school 27km walk along the Suffolk coast by nearly 300 pupils and staff from Saint Felix School, Southwold, has raised over £1,500 for a youth centre based in the town.

Saint Felix School celebrates its 121st anniversary this year, so the walk began at the school’s original location in Aldeburgh. This is where Saint Felix was first established, with a cohort of just seven pupils, by Margaret Isabella Gardiner to provide, as she stated, “a school where girls are treated like sensible beings”. Fittingly, the school was first located at the holiday home of Dr Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, elder sister of Millicent Fawcett, herself a leading light in the suffragist movement aimed at empowering women through emancipation.

In acknowledgement of the school’s origins, Headmaster James Harrison began the walk accompanied by seven Senior Department pupils. Over the course of the day, pupils from all Departments aged between 4 and 18 joined in at various points along the route, before arriving back at school for a celebratory afternoon tea with pupils, parents and staff.

As well as retracing the school’s physical history, pupils also learned more about Saint Felix himself. The saint, who lived during the 7th century and is also known as Felix of Dunwich, was the first bishop of the East Angles, and known for introducing Christianity to the region.

Video of the walk, including drone footage created by sixth form student, Nathan Wong

Mr Harrison said: “A key aspect of our school’s mission is to foster a sense of social responsibility in our pupils. The Founder’s Walk was a great opportunity to support a relevant local cause, whilst also discovering more about the history of the school and enjoying our beautiful location on the Suffolk coast.”

Mr Harrison continued: “We are delighted to have been able to raise valuable funds for The Loft Youth Centre, whose purpose reflects the school’s own enduring mission of supporting children in their learning and social development. It provides a great resource for youngsters in and around Southwold.”

The Loft Youth Centre, on Mights Road, Southwold, welcomes around 50 youngsters each week for a variety of social sessions and practical workshops on topics including mindfulness and babysitting training. Children come from Southwold, Reydon and surrounding villages and attend a range of local schools.