As a school we are committed to encouraging our students to be outward looking, and we believe in supporting charities in order to make a positive difference in the world.
We have a wonderful Charity Committee made up of students from all year groups and led by a member of staff. The committee meets once a week and is responsible for organising and delivering hugely popular School events, including the Dance-Off and Lip Sync Competitions, non-uniform days and the Year 7 Talent Show. The committee runs regular bake sales and operate stands at the Holly Fair and at Founders Day. Fundraising is tracked on the “Charity Barometer", so the School community knows how much we have raised.
At any one time, Alleyn’s Senior School supports two major charities, one local and one international. Despite the challenges of lockdown, in 2020-2021 we managed to raise £12,051 for Sparrow Schools South Africa and Blueprint for All.
Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, the students of the Charity Committee chose the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust as the local charity for 2020-2021, the charity subsequently changed their name to Blueprint for All. The charity works to help young people from disadvantaged, BAME or minority backgrounds to access education and job opportunities, particularly in the field of architecture, which was the profession Stephen Lawrence hoped to pursue.
We have a long-term international link with Sparrow Schools in Johannesburg, South Africa. At Sparrow, over 700 children and young adults who are unable to cope in mainstream education are given an education and thus the chance to become contributing members of society. These are children who have faced abuse, deprivation and homelessness; many live in the townships and will have had to fend for themselves from a very young age. There are children with serious learning difficulties and there are children who have the kinds of problems that result from years of neglect. All of them are in desperate need of the help that Sparrow can offer, if they are to break out of the cycle of poverty.
On the recent 2019 sports tour to South Africa, a group of Alleyn’s teachers and students visited Sparrow, which was a fantastic and truly inspirational experience. At Alleyn’s we have also welcomed visitors from Sparrow over the past three years, including the brilliant Founder of Sparrow Schools, Jackie Gallagher. We receive regular updates on how the money we have raised is used and it is wonderful to see that it is making a real difference.
For 2020-2021, particularly in light of the news from Afghanistan, students felt strongly that they wanted the UK based charity to focus on work with refugees and so we are now supporting Refugee Council alongside Sparrow Schools. The student committee is bigger than it has ever been and we now have Lower School representatives who come along to our Friday meetings and promote events with the Lower School.