Pupils from the Royal Hospital School (RHS) have handed over a significant sum of money to a local women’s charity.
Students at the Ipswich school engaged in a broad range of fundraising activities, culminating in presenting a cheque for £1,557 to Katherine Ahluwalia, training manager at Lighthouse Women’s Aid.
Methods for drumming up donations included everything from non-uniform days to sales of Valentine’s roses, charity concerts to retiring offerings following chapel services, raffles to ‘guess the teacher’ from baby photographs.
Lighthouse Women’s Aid offers a refuge for women and children fleeing high risk domestic abuse situations, and a women’s centre helping survivors with crisis intervention, legal, housing and financial advice.
It also delivers Suffolk-wide services educating communities on how to break cycles of domestic abuse and to help survivors rebuild their lives.
This is where RHS’ donation comes in, with plans to fund further educational visits to local primary schools and teach another 1,500 year six pupils about healthy relationships.
“On behalf of everyone at Lighthouse Women’s Aid, I would like to thank the Royal Hospital School for their generous donation,” said Ahluwalia.
“Our Expect Respect programme teaches pupils what a healthy relationship looks like, and this starts from the age of five right through to 18, with each talk age-appropriate.”
Lockdown saw a rise in controlling and coercive behaviour, she explained, noting that every relationship – be it with parents, siblings, friends, teachers, coaches, or wider family – should be healthy and respectful.
“[We] teach the next generation of relationships what healthy looks like in order to eradicate and prevent domestic abuse in the future,” she added.
“Many young people struggle with healthy relationships in all its forms, from parents and carers to friends and romantic partners, especially with social media and other outside influences.
“The key message is to talk to a trusted adult with any concerns regarding relationships and encourage friends to do the same.”