Children add personal messages of hope as aid trucks depart for Ukraine following record fundraising drive by Bryanston pupils.
Bryanston School’s annual Charities Weekend was organised by Head Girl, Esme Thomas, and Head Boy, Spencer Davies, in support of their chosen charities – #Willdoes, a Dorset mental health charity, and the ‘Girls will be Girls’ programme. In view of the immediate and growing humanitarian crisis, they also organised a special fundraising auction for the people of Ukraine.
Aid and messages
The enormous fundraising effort paid for over 22 tons of medical kit, a huge quantity of tinned food, well over a hundred sleeping bags and blankets, 40,000 nappies and other much-needed supplies, as well as a bulk supply of food for refugee welcome centres in Moldova and Slovakia. Personal messages from Bryanston pupils were also included in nearly 400 special fun packs for Ukrainian children. One lorry was loaded with specialist medical supplies off-site, but pupils were able to give the second lorry loaded with humanitarian aid an enthusiastic send-off as both vehicles started their 1,500-mile journey.
“Raising so much money at such short notice for the people of Ukraine was very challenging but also very
fulfilling,” says 18-year-old Esme. “We’re over the moon that our efforts will do so much to help improve the lives of so many people. I’m also really pleased we’ve been able to support a programme that is helping young girls from Nepal, Myanmar and Cambodia into education, as well as a more local charity that is so close to our hearts.”
“We’re indebted to the entire Bryanston community for everyone’s generosity and enthusiasm,” adds 18-year-old Spencer. “pupils from all year groups have done a sterling job in helping to pack and sort so many pallets of baby materials, sleeping bags, personal hygiene products and fun packs for children that are now
on their way to Ukraine. It really has been a case of everyone wanting to do something to help!” More than 12 pallets of aid were loaded onto the two lorries; they are expected to arrive at the Ukrainian border on the 4th April.
Open to parents and staff at the school, the weekend featured sponsored personal challenges, a concert by bands and musicians from the school, a lunch for friends and family, a fashion show, a dog show and a special dinner for pupils in their final year at the school.
The Silent Auction for Ukraine benefitted from the advice and support provided by Jumblebee – the prizes were donated by parents, staff and local companies, and included everything from a pizza evening with a pupil’s favourite teacher and golf course tickets, to a stay in a holiday cottage and overseas trips.
More than aid
As well as the humanitarian mission to Ukraine, the Charities Weekend fundraising has supported Willdoes and United World Schools. Dedicated to the memory of William Paddy, a sporty and charismatic child who grew up near Swanage and known to a number of Bryanston pupils, Willdoes promotes mental and physical health, social inclusion and wellbeing for young people across Dorset and the surrounding area.
United World Schools is an international education charity that builds schools, empowers communities and
transforms the lives of children in deprived and remote areas of Cambodia, Myanmar and Nepal. This is the
second time the charity has benefitted from funds raised from Bryanston’s Charities Weekend.