Thursday 5 July was Amesbury’s annual charity day. The theme of the days was ‘UNDER THE SEA’ which had a slightly different educational side to previous years. All Amesbury’s charity initiatives are run by the School Council and Charities Committee and managed by Mrs Munday, Head of Charities, who explains “The aim this year was to raise as much money as possible for the school charities but also to take the opportunity to develop pupils understanding of the very topical problem of Plastic Pollution. It was also an opportunity for pupils to gain insight and relate to the wider world they live in and help to protect it. The pupils calculated their own environmental impact and made a pledge to reduce their plastic usage going forward. The whole school was involved in the day from Pre-nursery to Year 8 with many parents joining in too.”
Activities during Charity Day included Plastic Pollution Facts – Heads or Tails, a cake sale and a sponsored event for pupils in Nursery to Year 8, called ‘Swishy Fishy!’ This event encouraged pupils to have a greater understanding of the environmental problem the world is facing. Children were also invited to wear an appropriate outfit based around the theme of ‘Under the Sea’, seeing costumes made from recyclable materials as far as possible with a prize for the best homemade innovative costumes. The day culminate with two charity day themed concerts and at the time of going to print the estimated total money raised from the day is around £6000.
Through Amesbury’s charity work, the aim is to develop and educate a caring community within the school by encouraging commitment, courtesy, co-operation, tolerance and compassion towards one another and the wider world. The work also helps pupils understand that each individual is a member of a wider community.
Over the last few years, Amesbury have purposefully broadened the range of charities supported to give the children a fuller understanding of the range of charities that exist and the different ways we can support charities. For example, exposing pupils to the challenges facing children and adults from all ages, abilities and cultures. Pupils, parents and staff are directly involved in the decision making process.
Amesbury currently support two local charities:
• Surrey Wildlife
• The Clockhouse, a Day Centre in Milford.
In addition to these Amesbury also support:
• Elephants in Africa (welcoming a mutual relationship with Dr. Kate Evans, now an Amesbury Associate, who comes to help educate the pupils on our responsibilities towards protecting the planet and its wide life.
• AFEE (Association Femmes Enfants et Environment) which does amazing work to support women, children and the environment in the Senegal.
• FOGTA (Friends of the Gambia Association), which will allow us to sponsor and support an individual child to go to school. We are currently paying for 6 mainstream children to attend school of all ages and a number of blind children to attend their own specialist school. In addition to this we financially contribute to support some of their families with food to allow the children to go to school. Donations have also contributed to approximately 30 cataract operations in previous years for the grandparents of families so that the older children do not have to stay at home to look after younger siblings.
Mrs Munday, Head of Charities explains “In addition to financially supporting the charities we have also welcomed visits to school events from guests at The Clockhouse. In turn pupils have visited and provided musical entertainment for the members. We believe it is important for our pupils to understand that charity is not only concerned with fundraising but is also concerned with the giving of time, skills and effort and the creation of a charitable spirit.”