Pupils at St Benedict’s, Ealing, have spent much of the autumn term raising funds for two charities supporting homeless people throughout the UK.
More than £2,300 has been accumulated so far, to be split between Glass Door – which coordinates the UK’s largest network of emergency winter shelters and support services by partnering with churches and community centres – and St Mungo’s, which has been at the forefront of efforts to tackle homelessness for over 50 years.
James Hunter, a year 12 student at the coeducational Catholic day school, is one of the biggest individual contributors to the overall sum to date.
On a cold and rainy October night, he raised £1,110 for Glass Door by taking to his back garden armed with just a sleeping bag, as part of the charity’s Sleep Out initiative.
“I took part because I think it’s very easy to take for granted what we have,” said Hunter. “Sleeping out in what was a very cold, rainy night made me appreciate the comfort and security of my home.”
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“Glass Door does a lot to support homeless people and helps them to get back on their feet,” he added. “We need to remember the importance of social justice; it’s heartbreaking that so many people are homeless.”
In another initiative, which saw more than £1,200 raised for St Mungo’s, year 7 students at St Bendedict’s organised raffles, socially distanced games and other activities.
The fundraising day was coordinated by students in Gervase House.
“[It] was a collective effort that included teachers, parents, and students alike,” said head of house, Ron Mushiso.
“Because current restrictions prohibit us from mixing year group bubbles, we decided to focus our activities around year 7. This gave our newest intake to the senior school a first-hand experience of our house system, to see how the school comes together to fulfil the goal of service to our community.”