The Blundell’s charities benefitted from a wonderful season of Year 7 School House Dinner Parties. This brilliant event, now in its third year, is a fantastic opportunity for both pupils and parents. Tutor groups cook a three course meal for their parents, as well as prepare the décor and serve the dishes, and parents have the chance to socialise with each other. Culinary highlights included Pan Seared Pigeon, Slow cooked Pork Belly and Smoked Salmon Roulade! All proceeds went to the school charities and School House are very proud to have raised over £1,000.
All four of our school charities provide us with excellent examples of what it means to care for others in practical ways and we are privileged to partner with them and learn from them.
The Bhambayi Project www.bhambayiproject.co.za
Restoring Hope. Re-storying Lives.
The Bhambayi Project is dedicated to transforming the lives of orphans and vulnerable children in one of the most disadvantaged communities in South Africa. Their goal is to see lives transformed and individuals propelled out of poverty through relationships and empowerment, not handouts. As part of our Christmas appeal pupils at Blundell’s exchanged greetings with children living in Bhambayi and we were able to help equip 25 children with the school uniform and other needed items for the start of their school year. We have continued to build relationships further through online conversations on Field Day and we were struck by the warmth and positivity of the Bhambayi fieldworkers who face enormous challenges every day.
Little Hero (Will’s Woodland) www.littlehero.org.uk
Fighting childhood brain tumours
Little Hero support families facing cancer diagnosis and funding for research into new treatments for childhood cancer which has remained largely unchanged for 30 years. Whenever possible the Blundell’s pupils take the opportunity to get their hands dirty by helping to development the Will’s Woodland Retreat site not far from Tiverton. In this way they have tried to show care for the families who might welcome the relief of this special place in the future.
Churches Housing Action Team (CHAT) www.chatmid.org
CHAT offer free and confidential services to people experience housing difficulties in mid-Devon. This includes housing and money advice, tenancy support and a foodbank. Mr Simon Friend, Director of trustees for CHAT, delivered a chapel service which enlightened us about how easily one might slip into homelessness and the importance of reaching out to those in need. Blundell’s pupils have donated clothes which have been redistributed by CHAT, they have also helped to pack food boxes for families who are really feeling the pinch at this time. Blundell’s families have made generous contributions to an online auction which will be ending on Easter Friday and all proceeds from this will be well used by CHAT. We recognise that CHAT does vital work in our community, and we are proud to partner with them.
Caring in the Heart of Devon
Each year Hospiscare support 2000 people with life-limiting illness by caring for families in our region. Their services include support at home, a specialist palliative care ward, out- patients clinics and supportive therapies. Through our fundraising we hope to acknowledge the incredible work of compassion done by this local organisation and keep their services going. This term we have raised money through a bake sale and a home clothes day and we have raised awareness for this important charity through a pupil -led chapel service.
We have all been touched by recent plight of the Ukrainian people and pupils have devised various initiatives to raise financial support for them. This has included the sale of a painting by a year 13 Art Scholar, Carrie Lee; a Cricket Whites Sale; a Blue and Yellow Home Clothes Day, a hockey event, donations of needed items and a bake sale.
In addition to all these charitable activities, our Charity Committee is trying to do its bit for the environment through a clothes recycling scheme, RagBag. This scheme gives us money for every kilogram of clothing recycled and this term we have raised £400 for our charities through a collaborative effort.
All in all, it has been a busy term with incredible generosity being shown by our whole school community.
The sun came out for the Inaugural Charity Art Fair and it was a joyous occasion with much to celebrate, especially when contrasted with recent times of social restrictions. All visitors were able to enjoy refreshments and chatter, while also taking in the creations of the seven local exhibiting artists. The artists set the scene, not only with their beautiful work, but also with their generosity: kindly giving their time to this initiative, 30% of all their sales and a raffle prize for the draw. Alongside the professional artists, our Charity Craft Club had some handmade items for sale, including beach bags, macrame pot holders and individually designed Easter mugs. Harry Flower (head gardener) and The Bhambayi Project artists, also provided images used in the sale of greeting cards. It was wonderful to collaborate with so many people to pull this event together. Pupils were invited to take in the exhibition and the Gold Art Award group were particularly interested in speaking to the artists and admiring the artwork.
Belinda Reynell - Landscape artist
Anna Vojtisek - Pattern designer and paper lampshade maker
Jeremy Speck - Printmaker
Gill Erskine-Hill - Landscape and Portrait artist
Laura Grant - Landscape and Portrait Artist
Alison Whateley - Textile Artist
Antoinette Jackson - Sculptor