National award for charity team

A QE team has won a national award for its efforts in raising awareness of a charity’s education work in the developing world.

The Year 9 team, named Be the Change, triumphed in the Community Action category in The Wings of Hope Achievement Awards (WOHAA) and were presented with their award at a ceremony at the Royal College of Surgeons, London.

The six boys arranged events including book sales at Queensmead School, Barham Primary School and London Tamil Market. They raised £1,295 and increased awareness of the work of Wings of Hope to improve educational facilities in two schools in India and Malawi.

They had previously given a presentation at the House of Lords to a panel of judges who included actor Sir David Jason as well as Old Elizabethan Christopher Sandamas (1978-1983), Chief Clerk in the Private Secretary’s Office at the Royal Household.

Teacher and extra-curricular enrichment tutor Martin Bassett-Jones said: “These boys have shown determination and perseverance, despite busy school schedules, to raise awareness for WOHAA. The success they have had is down to their own initiative and they have considerably developed their skills in communication and working. The events they have organised have been varied but all have been successful in raising funds and awareness.”

""The six boys were: Shiva Pingle; Vikrant Rasalingam;  Sujen Ravindra; Eshan Patel; Michael Levitt and Rohan Rangra.

Nearly 300 guests attended the awards ceremony at the prestigious venue, including teachers, parents and students. Co-founders Dr Sri Ram and Mrs Rajni Sriram gave inspirational speeches about the Wings of Hope’s vision as it enters its tenth year. Over 25,000 students from more than 400 schools have taken part in the awards since 200, which are open to pupils from Year 9-13.

Winners and runners-up were treated to an Oscars-style evening, with trophies, video montages of their work and on-stage photographs. Trophies were presented by VIPs including BBC TV newsreader Babita Sharma, Neil Roskilly, CEO of the Independent Schools Association, and Dawn Butler MP.

In their press release on the awards, the charity highlighted the “stellar robot-esque breakdancing performance” given by Year 10 QE boy Abhinav Vudathu, who was a member of a previous QE team which reached the awards semi-finals.