Bringing some Christmas charity cheer

Bringing some Christmas charity cheer

Boys and staff rallied round to help Barnet people in need in the Christmas season with a triple charity effort.

The annual QE collection for Chipping Barnet Foodbank – now in its seventh year – gathered food and toiletries, while donations of clothing were taken for Homeless Action in Barnet, with pupils playing their part in ensuring that local people would not be spending frosty nights in cold and hunger.

And in a separate charity initiative, boys from every form in Years 7–9 battled it out in a charity ‘swimathon’ in aid of Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice.

Assistant Head (Pupil Involvement) Crispin Bonham-Carter, who was in charge of the deliveries for the foodbank and the homeless, said: “Charitable giving and service have long been important values at the School, and Christmas collections are a cherished tradition here. The boys were keen to support those less fortunate than themselves and gave generously.”

Mr Bonham-Carter expressed his thanks to Extra-curricular Enrichment Tutor Katrin Hood for overseeing these charity efforts and to all the boys and families who made donations.

For the deliveries, Mr Bonham-Carter was accompanied by Umar Jawara, from the site team, as well as Vice-Captains Suraj Cheema and Dylan Domb from the incoming Year 12 prefects team. The 2022 School Captain, Theo Mama-Kahn and another incoming Vice-Captain, Ryo Sato, were also involved.

With the approach of winter, both the foodbank and the homeless charity typically see a rise in visitors who are barely coping with rising food, heating and clothing costs. In Chipping Barnet, over 1,300 three-day emergency food supplies were given to people in crisis last year.

Donated food had to be non-perishable and have a long ‘use by’ date, such as tinned products,  cereals, rice, jars of pasta sauce, biscuits and jams and marmalades. Sanitary items such as shower gel, soap, moisturising cream and period products were also collected, because often these cannot be a priority when people run short of money.

The Homeless Action centre requested new underwear and socks, as well as any old clothes (except used underwear and socks), provided they were reasonably clean and wearable.

For the inter-House ‘swimathon’, each form had to provide a team of four for a medley relay (back, breast, fly and free stroke) against their own year group. Broughton won the overall competition. There were 105 spectators in total, with Underne praised for turning out the most supporters.