Supporting charity has looked a little different over this School year. Yet one thing that remains clear is the girls’ commitment to looking outwards. We have been delighted to see the School’s culture of helping others lived out all over the world during Digital Downe House. Girls have relished this greater opportunity to take the initiative in how they can support others. This period of Digital Downe House has demonstrated clearly that our girls are becoming global citizens who are aware of contemporary issues and understand humanitarian issues.
During Digital Downe House, the School community has found creative new ways to raise vital funds for local, national and international charities. There have been the first ever whole School virtual mufti days as well as girls leading new events – running a global relay, filming an emergency video appeal, swimming the length of the channel, making clothes for charity and organising a 24-hour Dance-a-thon.
Financial support is only one of the ways we encourage girls to look outwards. This period of learning at home has provided girls with a greater opportunity to contribute to their local community. Over the last two weeks of the Summer term – Founder’s Fortnight – we challenged girls to complete a Gift of Service. No two gifts were the same. From recording a swimming warm up for a primary school, writing a letter to a nearby care home, producing art for older school alumnae or baking for a neighbour, what underpins all of these acts is a demonstration of the creative compassion which is crucial to the hopes and aims for every Downe House girl.
All girls are encouraged to become involved in charitable work or to support a cause close to their heart – it could be a fun run, a cake sale or working with fellow House members to raise funds for their international link charity. In the 2018-19 School year, we raised the phenomenal sum of £41,000 for 34 different charities locally, UK based, and across the world.
Use the pie chart below to explore just a selection of the fundraising which took place over the last academic year.
Click on the pie chart slice to find out more about each charity.
Gandy's London set up the Orphans for Orphans initiative under the Gandys Foundation to aid underprivileged children with education, medication and nutrition.
OSCAR Foundation (Organization for Social Change, Awareness and Responsibility) is a Mumbai-based football for development non-profit focused on creating youth role models in low-income communities in India.
Parkinson's UK exist to change attitudes towards Parkinson's and help find a cure.
We raised money for the The Royal British Legion at our annual Remembrance Day service.
Sixth Form girls organised a Rainbow Day in aid of Stonewall, who campaign for the equality of lesbian, gay, bi and trans people across Britain.
Target Ovarian Cancer’s campaigns tackle the three biggest barriers to progress: late diagnosis, limited choice of treatments, and the isolation so often felt by women with ovarian cancer.
The Uganda School Project work to support primary education in rural Uganda.
We are proud to support Berkshire Women's Aid, a local charity who provide advice, support and refuge services to victims of domestic abuse.
YoungMinds is the UK's leading charity fighting for children and young people's mental health.
York House nominated Action4Archie as their House charity. It was set up by the aunt of one of the Sixth Form girls after her cousin Archie was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
Under the Diocese of Oxford, the Bishop of Oxford Outreach Fund is dedicated to supporting the mission of the Church worldwide and is generated by offerings across the diocese, particularly at ordinations, confirmations, collations, institutions and licensings.
Hermitage House organised a fundraising event for the Lower School in aid of Cancer Research UK.
The whole school came together to celebrate Red Nose Day in a dance-a-thon to raise money for Comic Relief.
Last year we had a full school mufti day (teachers included!) in aid of Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
We raised money for Dementia Friends, a charity that exists to change perceptions of Dementia. Some of this money also went to a local Memory Cafe that provides a relaxed place for people to come and get advice and support regarding dementia.
Driven by the Chaplaincy, we have supported Hope and Homes for Children who exist to eliminate the institutional care of children in orphanages, believing that every child deserves to grow up in a loving, stable family.
AGS House raised an incredible amount of money this year for their House Charity, HopeAsia, who care for some of the poorest and most vulnerable children in the world. The majority of the money came from their Charity Fundraising Gala, all organised by the girls. AGS organised a House Trip in Summer 2019 to Myanmar to see the work of the Hosanna Children's Home.
Following a student-led assembly, we had fundraising in aid of the Inspire Foundation who are a specialist charity intent on raising funds with which to research quality of life issues for those who have suffered spinal cord injuries (SCI).
We raised money this year for Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust who are the UK's leading cervical cancer charity.
The whole school took part in the World's Biggest Coffee Morning in September 2018. Every penny raised helps Macmillan be right there for people living with cancer.
Sums raised include the gigantic £10,000 raised by AGS House at their Fundraising Night for HopeAsia and York’s Fundraising efforts which raised £5,700 for Parkinson’s UK. But equally important are where girls make an individual effort to raise money for a charity close to their heart such as a purple mufti day for Psoriasis Association following an Upper School girl’s assembly, and a Remove girl’s presentation and fundraising for Allegra’s Ambition which holds a personal connection for her.
The ten boarding houses continually support their international link charities and in addition, the girls are given the opportunity to vote for a chosen local charity each year and last year, these included Berkshire Women’s Aid, Riding for the Disabled, West Berks Foodbank, Wessex Children’s Hospice Trust and Community Christmas.
“We are immensely proud of all the charity work that the girls and staff have undertaken over the past year and delighted that so many charities have benefited. I would like to thank the Downe House community for their loyal support for the School’s fundraising activities and congratulate the girls who so readily take on responsibility for organising events and getting involved in their House fundraising activities as well.”
Mrs Michelle Scott, Assistant Headmistress (Foundation)
Our Boarding Houses have long-established links with charities around the world and organise ambitious fundraising initiatives throughout the year which involve all the girls in the House. The links have also created an exciting global opportunity as small groups of girls and teachers make regular visits to the charities in person to deliver equipment, provide support and witness first-hand the difference they can make to disadvantaged children in the world beyond Downe.
Learn more about the work of the charities each of our Houses support.
AGN supports Sparkes Homes in Sri Lanka.
AGS supports Hope Asia and the Hosanna Children’s Home in Myanmar.
Holcombe supports Open Arms Malawi.
Tedworth supports the Tiger Kloof School in South Africa.
Aisholt supports Reality Gives.
York supports the Purple Community Fund with child sponsorship
Willis supports the Hogar el Alba Children’s Home in Argentina.
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