CAFOD is the official aid agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales and part of Caritas International. Across the world they bring hope and compassion to poor communities, standing side by side with them to end poverty and injustice. They work with people of all faiths. Inspired by Scripture and Catholic Social Teaching, and the experiences and hopes of people living in poverty, CAFOD works for a safe, sustainable and peaceful world. St Richard’s as a Catholic School is proud to support CAFOD in their work around the world.
In 2020 Jo, our Lay Chaplain attended CAFOD’s Inset training – Connecting Classrooms Through Global Learning and following this will be launching a CAFOD Young Leadership for Global Justice programme in 2021. This will give the pupils who participate an opportunity to develop the Knowledge and understanding of pupils in issues of global poverty, challenging them to take responsible action to support social justice and sustainability. It will also empower pupils to run their own global justice social action project. This will begin small and eventually be rolled out to all year groups.
Throughout the year we fundraise for CAFOD but our big fundraiser is during Lent. We hold a joint sponsored walk and Foodbank Collection from St Richard’s, up Galley Hill and down the seafront and back to St Mary Magdalene’s Church. Pupils collect sponsorship for the Walk and these funds go to CAFOD and we also collect food for the Bexhill Foodbank. In this way we are providing for those in need at home and those in need abroad.
Every year, a large number of pupils take part and it has certainly become a St Richard’s tradition. Following our recent Walk, we received this wonderful email from our CAFOD representative…
“CAFOD would like to thank the students, staff and parents for their generosity in raising £871.13 to help reduce and bring about sustainable change in some of the poorest parts of the world, and provide the essential gift of water for people in parts of Africa. Thank you for your support and prayers. To find out more about CAFOD’s work go to cafod.org.uk.”
Interact is a club for young people ages 12-18 linked with a local Rotary Club branch, who join together to tackle the issues in their community that they care most about. Every Interact Club carries out two service projects a year: one that helps your school or community and one that promotes international understanding.
St Richard’s Interact Club is run by the pupils and co-ordinated by Mr Eyre, assisted by the Lay Chaplain, Jo. As this is predominantly pupil led group they elect a President and Vice President in the same way an adult Rotary club would. Major projects we support are, the annual Rotary Tea Party for the Elderly, Love in a Box and our new Memory Project in conjunction with a local care home. We are fortunate to have the sponsorship and support of the Bexhill Rotary Club and our link there is Mr Peter Mitchell-Davis PHF. You can find more details on Bexhill Rotary Club here: Bexhill Rotary Club.
An annual event, Interact Club members attend the Rotary Tea Party for members of the community of mature years. They help with welcoming the guests, serving tea, and clearing up afterwards. They meet with the Rotary Club President, and enjoy and afternoon of engaging with those in our community of advancing years. This is a popular event with pupils.
In the UK, 850000 people are thought to be suffering from dementia, with families and friends also being affected. Through Interact Club, pupils at St Richard’s have the opportunity to make a difference to a local resident with dementia.
Pupils receive training to become a dementia friend, so they are equipped with knowledge and what to expect when working with someone with dementia. Then receive a badge to wear on their uniform following the training.
Every Monday after school, for a period of 12 weeks, pupils travel to Elizabeth Court Rest Home. Each week they will interact with the residents, play games, do arts and crafts and chat to them. They then put together a scrapbook of memories to give to the resident at the end of the project.
Each year Love in a box has been a popular project in school and we have collected over 400 plus boxes each year. Year groups have come up with many ideas, such as collaborative boxes to ensure their form has the most collected. These boxes go to support impoverished families in Eastern Europe and beyond.
The Fairtrade vision is of ‘a world in which justice and sustainable development are at the heart of trade structures and practices so that everyone, through their work, can maintain a decent and dignified livelihood and develop their full potential’. At St Richard’s, we raise our pupils’ awareness to the importance of the FAIRTRADE Mark and of fair trading through the curriculum in a variety of subjects such as Humanities, RE, English and PSHEe. We also sell some Fairtrade products (chocolate, tea, coffee, sugar etc) regularly during the year. We support the Fairtrade Foundation during the various events of Fairtrade fortnight.
The Fairtrade Champions team is led by the Lay Chaplain with the assistance of Mrs Truss and Mrs Herring. The group is open to all pupils and they are visible around school by wearing a Fairtrade Champions badge. In wearing this they are promising to promote the ideals of Fairtrade in our school. Events are held in school during Fairtrade Fortnight and include a Fairtrade craft stall, MFL Fairtrade Bake-Off, Fairtrade tuck stall and Fairtrade Easter Egg raffle. We also work with Fairtrade Bexhill town to support their work.
OTHER CHARITY FUNDRAISING
Throughout the year there are many other charity events organised by Personal Tutors and form groups or by whole year groups. These are reported in our termly newsletter.