Eastbury students go the extra mile

 First Give team Zahra, Samantha, Liveta, Lathusa 


At First Give we were delighted to host our first ever Southern Consortium Final at Dagenham Park school, where two winning teams from four schools who had already completed the First Give programme, competed against one another. The schools that took part in our Consortium Final were Dagenham Park School, Jo Richardson Community School, Sydney Russell School and Eastbury Community School. It was an opportunity for the students to win an additional £500 for their charity. As the teams were already winners from their schools, the standard was extremely high!

“When we visited our charity they told us stories about domestic violence. We became so passionate about the cause and so we decided to volunteer there.”

 We spoke to some of the students who took part in the Consortium Final from Eastbury, including a group of girls who chose to support Women Together Association, who support survivors of domestic violence. “It’s women who tend to suffer domestic violence and so we as women felt passionate about it.” The girls felt that domestic violence,“is such a sensitive topic that people are too scared to approach it - they cannot believe that these horrible things happen.”

“When we visited the charity, we asked the founder if she needed any help and she told us about the project that she will be doing this year.”

The Eastbury girls became so attached to their charity that they offered to volunteer as well as advocate for them in their First Give presentation. “We helped design leaflets, calendars and we even help design their newspaper page.” The designs of the students leaflets were excellent and so the charity used them at their annual dinner to which they were invited. They will also be volunteering on a new upcoming project that the charity will soon be working on. The girls are really showing their community spirit!

“We were very passionate about our cause which helped us do well and we didn’t want to let the founder down…we wanted to make her proud.”

At the Eastbury Final, the girls won a whooping £1,000 for Women Together Association but these amazing students just missed out on the top prize at the Consortium Final. This shows how high the standard of competition was!

When we won, we were so happy and emotional especially when we saw the founder crying with joy. I can’t believe we caused tears!

The girls were so overjoyed when they saw the impact they had on the audience, judges and charity. “We felt so good about winning, especially when the founder was calling us her angels ... it felt amazing!” The founder of Women Together Association emailed the girls to say how grateful she was. “It was very emotional actually. She said it’s the best thing that has happened to their charity!” Winning the Eastbury Final did not only help the charity but it also gave the students the chance to shine.

“Over time we became confident.”

The First Give programme enables young people to grow and improve on their presentation skills as well as life skills such as self confidence. “We were told at the Finals by our teachers and peers how much we had improved in our presentation skills and that we have all changed in the way we performed. You wouldn’t expect our presentation skills to be good as we’re quite quiet and reserved.”

Another team from Eastbury won £250 at their Eastbury Final for their charity Young Carers. Young Carers is a charity that aims to support carers who are young people aged 8-18 years. They worked so hard to improve their presentation that they went on to be the winners of the Consortium Final! “We were like yeah we did it! As individuals we’re quite competitive so we really wanted to win it…we were in it to win it.”

The Young Carers team also stated “First Give has helped me to sympathise with people more. There is so much that goes on in this borough, you don’t pay any attention to it, learning about Young Carers has opened my eyes.”

“Confidence is key - if you’re passionate about it then you should be confident, as you want to spread awareness of your charity.”

When we asked these students what advice they would give to young people doing the First Give programme, and they said: “Take the first step, confidence is key and fight for it!”