Charity & Community
As a school, we have a mission to inspire and cultivate a sense of charity and community.
We believe that fundraising is a great way of motivating children, of teaching them social skills as well as teamwork skills, and we believe that fundraising ought to be an integral part of our girls' education. Working with charities increases a child's self-esteem and encourages a sense of social responsibility within the wider community.
At Eaton House Belgravia Pre-Prep, charity and community are very important to us. Boys are always taught the importance of being mindful and sensitive to community issues and encouraged to lend a hand wherever they can.
Last year, in keeping with their Christmas tradition, the Senior Choir continued to develop its local reputation for spreading good cheer by performing in the Belgravia Christmas Sunday. On that day, Elizabeth Street is turned into a Christmas market with a stage and entertainment from around London. Our boys, who looked the epitome of Christmas in their red and green uniforms, sang a selection of well-known carols that brought merriment and cheer to the festive crowds.
In addition, the boys of Year 3 and the Junior Choir went carol singing in Sloane Square to raise money for the Royal Marsden Hospital Breast Cancer Department. This is always a jolly event with the teachers joining in. We raised a good sum for our busking efforts. Not bad for less than an hour's work!
The Roaring Twenties
Sometimes the parents decide to join in the fun too. One special event in 2017 was a charity fundraising event, The Roaring Twenties, at Claridge's, ably organised by two of our mothers. It was a wonderful evening and we raised a staggering £150,000. The beneficiaries are Borne and the Giving Tree Foundation.
Jeans for Genes Day
This year also got off to a great start. Friday 21 September was Jeans for Genes Day and the children wore jeans instead of their shorts or long trousers with their school shirt and blazer for a donation to charity. Jeans for Genes Day is the annual fundraising campaign for Genetic Disorders UK, a national charity that supports individuals and families.
We celebrated the Harvest on Friday 12 October. Each year we support the charity The Passage, which runs London's largest voluntary-sector resource centre for homeless and vulnerable people. They help up to 200 men and women every day. As usual, Belgravia Pre-Prep parents and boys rallied with a generous donation of non-perishable food items such as tinned fish, tinned hot dogs, tinned soups, casseroles and stews, tinned fruit and vegetables, peanut butter, tea, coffee, shaving foam and new socks.
Boys are taught that being kind and generous to others is essential in life. Those character traits are developed by giving back where they can, and the boys are always so pleased and excited to help.
To support our local charities, we place paramount importance on the community as our girls need their parents and teachers to set an example of working with charities. We are keen for parents to work with our girls and teachers, as a team, leading by example. We expect and encourage our parents to help with fundraising through activities such as bake sales and sponsored walks.
Monitors and volunteers
We believe it is important for the girls to come up with charities of their own choice and to find different ways of supporting them. Giving energy and enthusiasm to a cause is a means of empowering our students. We have selected charity monitors in Year 6 who participate in and shape our school's charitable direction. A girl from each of Years 1 to 5 is also voted by her form to represent her peers at our regular school council meetings. These meetings not only facilitate a wider engagement with our local charities and community but encourage inter-year bonding, which acquaints girls of different ages so they can learn from and support each other and thus enhance and develop our school community.
In addition, every form has one volunteer representative who will meet regularly with the head and deputy to discuss fundraising ideas and put forward nominated charities. As well as having the girls select charities to support, we believe that it is important to consistently raise funds for a set of charities as the girls become accustomed to supporting these events. Our regular charities and events include Jeans for Genes Day, the Macmillan Coffee Morning, and our harvest festival donations which go to the Ace of Clubs homeless charity. Our annual charity events are a quiz night for parents, a Christmas fair, a break-the-rules day where money is split between charities chosen each term, and Share Community, a local charity in the community with which we are creating close links.
Supporting the wider community
We want to not only support local charities but also contribute to the wider community. To this end we also have eco monitors who are the voice of the school, making us aware of up-to-date eco-related issues. We feel strongly about joining the local and global community in the fight against plastic and are on our way to achieving plastic-free school status. Charity and community are an integral part of our school's ethos as our fundraising events and attitude towards the local community help to transform our students into socially responsible young women.
The boys are always taught the importance of being mindful and sensitive to community issues and encouraged to lend a hand wherever they can. We encourage the boys to choose their own charities to support or to come up with new ways of supporting those we already support. Particular emphasis is placed on local charities, but we also recognise the importance of caring for the wider community and the world as a whole.
Some causes we support
These are a few examples of charity and community initiatives supported by boys at The Manor Boys' School.
Among the causes supported by the Pre-Prep are GOSH (Great Ormond Street Hospital), Beyond Autism, Jeans for Genes, and Ace of Clubs. Here are some examples of activities over the past year:
- Jeans for Genes – the boys could bring £1 to wear jeans instead of school uniform one day in September, and gain an understanding of children with genetic disorders and how the money raised can contribute to developing cures and provide support for their them and their families.
- Assembly with GOSH representative – understanding the work of GOSH and the needs of the children in the hospital. The boys gained an understanding of how the money raised this year would be spent, for example funding medical research and treatments, providing support for families, refurbishing wards and buildings.
- Harvest festival with the whole school – collecting donations for Ace of Clubs and raising awareness of those less fortunate than ourselves, giving thanks for what we have, and enabling the boys to understand how their donations can help homeless and vulnerable people in the local area.
- Break the School Rules Day – an idea from the School Council following discussions with boys, who came up with a list of (safe) rules they could break and pupils were charged £1 for each rule broken, raising money for our school charity.
In addition to the causes supported by the Pre-Prep, the Prep School boys also support a number of other local and national charities, including The British Legion, Children in Need, South London Cares, Friends of Clapham Common, Room to Read, and Cancer Research. Their activities over the past year include:
- Wednesday Watercolours – an art session with elderly neighbours from South London Cares and our art scholars – an opportunity to engage with people from different backgrounds and give something back to the community.
- Remembrance Sunday parade and service – pupils represent the school and remember Old Manorians who gave their lives in conflict.
- Carol service performance for South London Cares – all the boys had the opportunity to entertain socially isolated elderly neighbours and form captains then enjoyed mince pies and a conversation with them afterwards.
- Reading Challenge, in support of Room to Read – an Easter holiday reading challenge to promote literacy focus at school and to raise awareness of and money for children for whom literacy is not an expected outcome of childhood.
- Year 8 Three Peaks Challenge - physical and mental challenge for Year 8 boys with their staff and some of their parents to raise money for GOSH.