The Chiltern Centre had a smashing start to the week when the St Mary’s School council paid them a special visit. Yesterday (Monday 15 January), the student representatives from years 2 to 6 presented the charity with a cheque for a brilliant £500. The money was raised by the school last term from events such as the Christmas play, Halloween bag-making, and a wonderful charity fashion show.
Organised by the school councillors (composed of two students from each class), the fashion show was held after school on Friday 15 December. Around 50 students took part in the pageant, modelling pre-loved children’s clothing that had been donated by parents. The audience members were then able to buy the items they liked, straight off the catwalk! Proceeds from the evening were a great contribution towards the St Mary’s charity collection, combined with the money raised from nativity play ‘Lights, Camel, Action!’ and various other school events.
Each year, the primary school on St Andrews Road fundraises for a single charity. Having this year chosen the Chiltern Centre, school council leader and teaching assistant Sarah Cook explained the reasoning behind the decision. “We really liked the fact that it was local,” she revealed. “The children know there was a real link, mostly because it’s local and works with children.” The students have also had chance to learn more about the Centre from Community Fundraiser, Liz Deacon. Liz has spoken in a number of school assemblies, teaching the children about how their hard work will help the charity. She commented, “We’re really grateful for all their efforts. It’s lovely to meet all the children from the school council and show them round the centre, and they raised a fantastic amount which we’ll put to good use.” She added, “We really enjoy having a close relationship with the schools in the local area.”
The money raised by St Mary’s will go towards the running costs of the Greys Road based charity. The Chiltern Centre, a respite care centre for disabled children and young people, needs £200,000 per year in order to maintain its services. Rob Harmer, Headmaster at St Mary’s, was delighted to be able to help the Henley charity. “I’m obviously incredibly proud of the children and parents for supporting this wonderful charity and what they do,” he said. “It’s fantastic that we were able to come up here and have a look around.” With two terms still to go in this school year, it looks like St Mary’s are set to raise a brilliant sum for the Chiltern Centre.