In previous years Lent has provided the focus for raising money centred on the Sixth Form Rag Day, an Activities Afternoon for Years 9 and 10 and a Sponsored Walk for Years 7 and 8. Year 11 contribute by paying to attend the Rag Day concert and participating in the Sixth Form Quiz Night which continues to thrive since its introduction by the late Mr Steve Bell in 1995. The total amount raised by these events stands at around 8400. This year, however, there have been additional fundraising appeals to which both students and staff have responded magnificently.
The New Year began with the devastating news of the earthquake in Haiti. This was particularly poignant for Salesian schools worldwide since a Salesian school was destroyed totally with many staff and students killed. Another school run by the Salesian Sisters was also destroyed. The latter school has now reopened while the Salesian priests and brothers are about to re-launch their presence in Haiti. The response of the school community at Salesian Chertsey was robust with a Mufti Day and a series of activities raising a total of over 4500.
Other causes, often emanating from the personal experience of students, have similarly provoked a positive response. Following the initiative of two students, Olivia McKinnell in Year 11 and Elizabeth Desborough in Year 10, a representative from the Teenage Cancer Trust addressed all students in Year 10 and 1900 was raised, half of which will be presented to the Trust and half to the local Sam Beare Hospice. A further 360 was raised for this Hospice at the end of a memorial service in St Anne's Chertsey for the late Mr Bell. Kayte Pritchard, our Reprographics Manager, also raised over 500 for Breast Cancer by taking part in the Windsor Half-Marathon and being sponsored by several staff.
Several other charities have benefited from the generosity of staff and students during this year. In November Mr Bryce, Head of Zatti House, organized a group of staff to take part in the Movember event which raised awareness of the reality of testicular cancer. Due in no small measure to the response of our staff and students, this effort raised over 1100. Students attending a Youthgather event organized by the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton raised 185 for its charities.
Who have benefited from these fundraising challenges apart from those already mentioned? Traditionally some of the money raised on Rag Day is divided between the charities of the four Houses. This year the beneficiaries have been:
- Street Children Africa
- Cancer Research UK
- Shooting Stars Hospice
- Bangalore Hospice
- Salesian Calcutta Street Children Project
The India project has become a major focus for students in all year groups, particularly Sixth Form to the extent that seven students are visiting the project next year. Apart from the support given by the Rag Day efforts, Learning Support sells second hand uniform, the proceeds of which go to the Street Children at Ashalayam in India which has amounted to over 200 so far this year. Mrs Mitchinson, one of our Learning Support Assistants, is in charge of the shop. She, together with other LSA's, make sure that lost uniform is returned and other uniform is washed, ironed and sold.
The total raised by the above fundraising projects is in excess of 27,000. Money has also been raised by several individual projects. The most recent effort involved Calum Boyd, a Year 10 student, setting up a barbecue at the School Sports Day which raised over 300 for the Macmillan Nurses. To include all the other individual projects would involve writing a separate article. Mention must, however, be made of three summer fundraising projects. Mr Delaney, Subject Leader of Italian, will take part in the Berlin Marathon to raise funds for a charity inaugurated by his grand-uncle Fr. Sean McFerran SDB for people in Calcutta suffering from leprosy.
Two former students, Anthony Coughan and Peter Eley, are taking part in a 135 mile non-stop Kayak challenge along the River Thames to raise money for cancer research in memory of Mr Bell. It is possible to donate through http://www.justgiving.com/ricky-cowley.
Finally Mr Jeffery, currently Head of House, is in August going to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. This is the highest mountain in Africa, and has a climb of 15,000 feet from its base. Mr Jeffrey, currently Duke of Edinburgh Coordinator in the school, is hoping to raise over 1934.10 (that's 1 for every ten feet of altitude!) All money raised will go to STREET CHILD AFRICA, one of the school's chosen charities. To donate and for more information click on http://www.justgiving.com/edjeffrey