Charities benefit from kind hearted Sidcot Students
21 October 2010
Staff and students at Sidcot School, Winscombe, really made a difference last year by raising over £6000 for charities such as Breast Cancer Care, Children in Need, Weston Area Health Trust, Sport Relief, Help for Heroes, Cancer Research and the Haiti Earthquake Appeal.
Sidcot draws on its Quaker heritage, encouraging students to take responsibility for their actions and to recognise how they can make a difference to the world around them. The Quaker advice to “let your life speak” means that students don’t just talk about what they could do to help others – they get on and do it, and the school strapline, “Learning to make a difference”, echoes this sentiment.
Sidcot engenders its students with compassion and a sense of responsibility for others, and it is no coincidence that former students are often involved with active fundraising, campaigning, and working in caring professions. Many of the current students give up their own time to help with causes around the globe, including 6th form student, Charlotte Gerling, who made full use of her summer holidays by travelling to Equador and volunteering in “Campamento Efrata” – a camp which gives children between the ages of 12 to 18 the chance to attend school. During her time at the camp, Charlotte helped with the daily chores and taught basic English.
Joe Patrick, another of Sidcot’s kind hearted 6th formers and last years Head Boy, travelled to Kilifi in Kenya to learn more about the charity organisations that sponsor young people in Africa. The trip was funded by money raised by Joe and his friend, Matt, through a sponsored cycle from John O Groats to Lands End. On arriving in Kilifi, they were shown around by a local boy named Emmanuel.
Joe was so moved by Emmanuel and his family that he began sponsoring Emmanuel’s younger brother, 17 year old Michael Mruu through secondary school in Kenya, paying for his boarding fees, text books, uniform and for items such as sheets and a mosquito net.
Another of Sidcot’s regular fundraising events is the annual Macmillan Coffee morning, which this year raised over £600 for Macmillan Cancer Support – a charity particularly close to Sidcot’s heart. Between 1897 – 1900, Douglas Macmillan attended Sidcot, which is described in his biography as “a school which values not only academic success but a respect for the dignity and well being of others.” He later went on to found The Society for the Prevention and Relief of Cancer following the death of his father to cancer of the oesophagus in 1911. Douglas devoted his life to the cause, which later became known as Macmillan Cancer Support. Macmillan’s Director of External Affairs, Hilary Cross, who is also a former Sidcot Student, says, “It is no surprise to learn that a school where helping others is embedded in its ethic is still doing its bit, and I’m particularly pleased that they are doing so for Macmillan Cancer Support. Next year is Macmillan’s centenary. We are not as old as Sidcot, I know, but we wouldn’t be celebrating a hundred years of helping people living with cancer at all if it wasn’t for one Sidcot old scholar, our founder Douglas Macmillan, who had a vision to leave the world a better place.”