Over a week during the summer they ran a play scheme involving local street children and orphans, ranging in age from six months to 24 years. Most of the children live in poverty and have hugely complex emotional and sometimes behavioural problems. Some are quite severely disabled and many have HIV.
Each day was carefully planned by the Dauntsey’s pupils and given a theme such as ‘World Cup’, ‘healthy living’ and ‘British day’. A wide range of activities were organised, including face painting, crafts, cooking and dancing. The play scheme was financed by a range of fundraising activities organised by the pupils during the past year.
Almost £8,000 was raised, which, in addition to the play scheme, has enabled Dauntsey’s pupils to: fund a Romanian girl through her university physiotherapy course; start a small furniture-building business for a group of young men; send girls at risk of being trafficked on holiday; support a local football team and pay for central heating for a community centre.
“Getting to know the children and working with them was a real joy,” says pupil Hetty Sagers. “I will definitely return if there is an opportunity and the experience has given me a focus for the future – working with children is something I want to do and I hope to train as a children’s nurse when I leave school.”