Plaudits for QE team’s charity fund-raising campaign

QE reached the semi-final of a national competition for schools raising money for under-privileged children in Asia and East Africa.

The rewards for the team of six Year 9 boys included an opportunity to meet celebrities such as actor Sir David Jason, who was a member of the judging panel for the semi-final at the House of Lords.

Calling themselves Team Ed-Spread, the six entered the Wings of Hope Achievement Awards (WOHAA) and raised more than £2,000 for Wings of Hope, a charity which provides free education to children through schools projects in India and Malawi. WOHAA is a free social enterprise scheme for schools throughout the UK and is open to pupils from Year 9 – 13. It aims to develop students’ skills whilst encouraging them to raise awareness of its international education projects.

“I was told by the organisers that the competition was fierce and the standard extremely high this year, but Team Ed-Spread’s efforts had shone through,” said Martin Bassett-Jones, Head of Extra-Curricular Enrichment, who organised QE’s entry. “The team had to prepare a five-minute presentation for the judges, which was followed by a three-minute Q&A. The boys did extremely well to rise to all the challenges and raise such a substantial amount of money.”

""Udai Arneja, Abhishek Balkrishna, Aravindh Manivannan, Yashwanth Matta, Mark Thomas and Abhinav Vudathu took part in the semi-final after being short-listed. The panel of judges included Sir David (famous for roles including Del Boy in Only Fools and Horses and as the eponymous star of Inspector Frost), Sean Biggerstaff (who played Oliver Wood in the Harry Potter films) and Sophie Kinsella (author of Confessions of a Shopaholic).

The team spent six months fund-raising, organising activities that included a sponsored run and swim, an archery shoot, a talk in Pinner Library, the sale of wristbands and promotional activity on social media.

The prizes were presented at a separate event at the Royal College of Surgeons at Lincoln’s Inn Fields. During the ceremony, Abhinav performed a dance to entertain the audience and judges, who included the High Commissioner for Malawi, Bernard Sande.

The competition attracted entries from schools such as Merchant Taylors’, Henrietta Barnett and North London Collegiate.