In our latest blog, we share some updates on the incredible charity initiatives that have been supported by Stratford Girls’ Grammar School over the past year.
The Meserani Project
The Meserani Project was established by representatives of Acklam Grange School in Middlesbrough, who, after a trip to Tanzania, wanted to raise funds for children they discovered could not afford to go to school. For 11 years now, The Meserani Project has equipped classrooms, built accommodation and water tanks, installed solar power requirements and provided textbooks, printers, photocopiers and more for African primary and secondary schools. Nearly 300 sponsored students have attended schools the project has links with many studying vocational training courses, A-levels, certificate and diplomas. 24 students have taken degree courses at university.
19 laptops were donated by Stratford Girls’ Grammar School in March, to be used by Tanzanian university students and teachers at a new secondary school that was under construction. We are delighted to see via the project Facebook page, that a record number of students have now started learning and that thanks in part to our school’s donation, every new student has been provided with their own laptop.
Our annual Christmas Jumper Day was held on Monday 14th December, a non-uniform day where we encourage those who wish to, to wear an old festive jumper or to create one from scratch. Students donated a minimum of £2 for the privilege of wearing non-school uniform, which helped us to raise final amount for Magic Breakfast; a charity that provides nutritious and balanced meals to hungry children all around the country. Over £2000 was raised, and money was still coming in at the end of last term.
Earlier in the year, another non-uniform day was held as part of the #hellowyellow initiative. Organised to support the charity Young Minds, SGGS students raised over £2000 and came together to showed young people they are not alone with their mental health.
As coronavirus has had an impact on the financial situation of so many families across the UK this year, SGGS became a Foodbank collection point and many members of the school community have generously provided items over several weeks to aid the cause.
The Charity Committee organised requests for donations into different categories of two items per week, so that essential items were obtained and provided. This has included shampoo, deodorant, washing up liquid, washing powder, tinned fruit, tinned vegetables and most recently left-over Christmas treats that have a long shelf life.
Despite the onset of COVID-19 this year, which interrupted a lot of initiatives and events, many students at SGGS has still managed to go above and beyond in supporting their local communities. Some of these students have shared their experiences below.
“Outside of school, I am a volunteer with the Scout Association. I help out with the Beavers section (6-8-year-olds), where I have organised activities and run evening sessions. I completed my Young Leader qualification in 2019 and I am now in the middle of online training to become an adult sectional assistant. In the first lockdown we organised Zoom meeting for the children with group baking and quizzes. We are hoping in the new year to get back to some face-to-face contact with everybody.”
Kate, Year 13
“I volunteer playing the clarinet(/saxophone) to old folks every weekend. I used to go to two homes in-person, but obviously that would be a risk, given the current situation. The way we've had to adapt is to use Zoom; though it's harder to socialise with each resident individually, I'm just glad we're able to brighten up their week a bit! I've definitely improved my communication skills, as well as learning to adapt to the technology.”
Sam, Year 13
“I volunteer at my local village shop on a Saturday afternoon, helping to check the temperature of the shop, clean the coffee machines, hoover, mop the floors and restock ready for the week ahead. I've also learnt valuable skills working on the till. I got the job after hearing my neighbour say they've struggled with the workload after the majority of volunteers were in the age bracket that needed to shield from coronavirus. I've certainly learnt how difficult it is to communicate with a mask on and making sure customers adhere to the safety guidelines. I like the sense of satisfaction I get when I finish a shift, as I know I am helping my community.”
Sophie, Year 12