Tis’ the season to serve others: Berkhamsted’s Christmas charity appeals
While the Christmas period is a time to spread cheer and have some fun, it’s also an important time to remember one of our core school values: to serve others. Across our schools, we have seen some fantastic Christmas charity appeals this Michaelmas term. From filling our old shoeboxes with essential items for the less fortunate to sporting our best Christmas jumpers to raise money for Save the Children, there were numerous ways for pupils to support charities and the local community.
Hope Shoebox appeal
Our chaplaincy team ran the Shoebox Appeal across Pre-Prep, Prep, Senior, and Sixth this November. The Shoebox Appeal- by the Link to Hope Charity- is an effort to collect items like clothes, soaps, and children’s toys for less fortunate families in Eastern Europe. Ensuring everybody in the family gets a gift this Christmas, the Link to Hope Shoebox appeal collects items for mums, dads, and the elderly as well as children.
Most of the festively decorated boxes were kindly wrapped by the families of our pupils and others were packaged in our school House rooms. We managed to donate approximately 180 shoeboxes for Link to Hope this year. Each box will be delivered to families across Eastern Europe. A huge thanks to Becky and Beth in the chaplaincy for organising this fantastic initiative!
Cards of Christmas
While it’s fantastic that pupils are focusing so many of their charity efforts on global and national charities, our school community have not forgotten the importance of looking out for those in our local area this Christmas. That’s why Berkhamsted hosted the ‘Cards of Christmas’ scheme, during which members of our school community wrote cards and letters that will be delivered to members of the local community who are in care homes or those who feel more isolated over the holidays.
On the final week of term, our school Charity Committee, led by Head Boy Dan M, arranged for an entire day dedicated to serving others. To raise money for Hertfordshire Mind- a local charity network that supports the mental health and wellbeing of young people in the area- our hardworking committee of Sixth Formers arranged a fun-filled day of netball challenges, bake sales, and a festive lunch.
“Hertfordshire Mind is a charity that is close to a lot of student’s hearts” Dan explains, “since the charity is aimed at those under 25 in the local area, a lot of pupils know this charity well and want to support it, so we honoured that with Charity Day”.
Preceding Charity Day, Dan and the Charity Committee convinced staff members to get involved in a ‘Band-Aid’-style Christmas video. Featuring Mr Walker, Mr Fung, the entire First Team rugby, and many other pupils and members of staff, the video spread smiles across the school campus while raising money for a great cause.
Christmas Jumper Day
What better way to spread some festive cheer than to see all of our pupils in their best Christmas jumpers around school? While Christmas Jumper Day is a great way to dig out the light-up sweater that has been buried at the back of our wardrobes for the past year, it was also an opportunity to raise money for those in need. This year’s Christmas Jumper Day raised money for Save the Children, a charity that protects children from disadvantage, conflict, poverty, and more.
From classic Christmas tree sweaters to slogan ‘HO HO HO’ T-shirts, we saw some wacky and unique festive garments on pupils and staff alike.
Holme House’s Reverse Advent Calendar
“Toy Hub’s reverse advent calendar aims to collect new toys for less fortunate children to receive at Christmas”, Mrs Livingston (Head of Holme House) explains of their Christmas House Charity efforts, “it’ll be really special to give back to those in need at this important time of the year.” Over the last few weeks of term, Holme House have been collecting new toys to donate to families via Toy Hub’s Reverse Advent Calendar. Toy Hub is a local charity based in Hertfordshire that collects toys for families who cannot afford to provide presents for their children at Christmas.
Motivated to ensure that as many children as possible wake up to a gift from Santa this Christmas Day, Holme House pupils and prefects have been working hard to donate as many new toys as possible in the lead-up to Christmas. Well done to Holme for helping local children have a magical Christmas morning!
A big thank you to the School Charity Committee, the chaplaincy, and Mr Silvey for overseeing our School charity efforts!