Bearing gifts: QE Christmas collection crowns a year of charity fund-raising

Bearing gifts: QE Christmas collection crowns a year of charity fund-raising

The School’s Christmas food and clothing collection has brought in a bumper amount, capping a successful year of support for local and international charities.

Every December, QE gathers food and clothing for the Chipping Barnet Food Bank and for Homeless Action in Barnet respectively. In 2017, this was overseen by Vice-Captains Abbas Adejonwo and Adam Chong, of Year 13, in the final weeks of their term of office, and by Physics teacher Georgina Garfield.

The December collections are only one part of QE’s wider charity activities. These include fundraising for the long-established Sai School Appeal in support of a village school in south-west India – which made some £3,000 this year – as well as the House charity events, which together have raised about £350 for the QE charity of the year, Orbis.

Headmaster Neil Enright said: “In the festive season – a season characterised by goodwill on the one hand and by excess on the other – it is important to remember those less fortunate than ourselves and to do what we can to help those in need. ‘Service unto others’ is a key part of the School’s ethos, and it is good to see this in action through student-led charitable activities at Christmas and throughout the School year.”

Pupils had a key role in establishing the food bank collection, which has been running for a number of years. Boys continue to play an important part in promoting and organising it. The collection fulfils a dual function, supporting those in need through providing them with essential items, while also raising awareness of their plight.

This year, Abbas and Adam delivered a poster campaign and used form ‘reps’ and assemblies to help spread the message. Considerably more was donated to the two December collections this year than last, with clothing making up the bulk of the donations.

Adam said that his involvement in charity work through the year has been very rewarding. He found his work in the selection process through which Orbis became QE charity of the year especially enlightening. He was involved in choosing a shortlist of thee charities, which were then voted on by the whole School population. “We had to look in great detail at a range of charities. We wanted to focus on those that might otherwise not get so much attention and support. Orbis does important work providing access to eye-care procedures across the globe, particularly in the developing world.”

The House events in support of Orbis included a Guess the number of sweets in the jar competition and events based around being blind or partially-sighted such as Blind penalty kicks and Blind Pictionary.

QE’s support for the Sri Sathya Sai English Medium School in Kerala dates back to 2002. Its main target is to secure sufficient sponsorship to support the equivalent of a Queen Elizabeth’s form of 30 pupils throughout their full-time education in Kerala.