New First Give programme starts with a bang!

The £1,000 winning team at Townley Grammar School 

It is an exciting time at First Give, as we get ready to launch our new programme in September 2017. One of the first schools to run the new programme as a pilot was Townley Grammar School, in Bexley. Townley Grammar School have ran First Give for 3 years with excellent outcomes. But we could not believe what we had this year!

The whole of Year 10 participated in fundraising for their 7 selected charities, totalling £905 and with over 100 hours volunteered! And it does not stop there. The students are so passionate about giving back to their charities, that they have planned an epic multi-cultural fair to raise a further £300!

“We have learnt that nothing means anything without passion, love and commitment. We should never take anything for granted. Our eyes have been opened to the struggles of those less fortunate than us”

In the new First Give programme, students are not just given the opportunity to advocate for their chosen charity through a public speaking contest, but are given the tools to actively help their charities through social action. Students at Townley learnt about effective social action, including raising awareness but also effective fundraising.

The year group worked in classes, with each class choosing a charity they felt passionately about. This created some healthy competition in the year group!

“This event epitomises all we do at Townley”

The School Final event took place at Townley Grammar School on Thursday 22nd June. It was a truly special night as the audience was treated to outstanding professional and emotive presentations to a room full of parents, charities and a panel of judges.

Townley students wowed the audience with their spectacular presentations filled with poems, rap and even a harmonised song 'Wade in the Water' from a group of students representing Anti-Slavery Trust, which took everyones breath away! New Horizon Youth Centre came away with £1,000 after a creative presentation which included a thrilling drama and role play to engage the audience in the seriousness of poverty experienced by young people.

However what made the event extra special was that it was a cause for celebration for all charities present, as all had received donations from the class's fundraising efforts. The atmosphere was that of true celebration of all the incredible work by the students.

“Enormous thanks to Townley Grammar School, First Give and The Jack Petchey Foundation from New Horizon Youth Centre for making it happen! The Townley students have really absorbed what we do, giving an impressively professional presentation. We look forward to the multi-cultural fair”

Desmond Deehan, the Headteacher at Townley, commented that “The students put the passion into compassion.”

The prize money, along with the rest of the programme at Townley Grammar School, is made possible by The Jack Petchey Foundation. Jack Petchey believes in the power of young people to change their communities and funds over 10,000 young people to take part in the First Give experience.

Louisa Searle, Director of First Give, said: “The success of the pilot at Townley and in all our pilot schools is tremendously exciting. It shows that not only are our young people empathetic and and caring, but they have the skills to make a tangible difference to their communities for the better. We are so excited to introduce social action as a new part of this programme to all our schools in the new academic year.”

We can't wait to see what happens in our schools from September!