Antrim Grammar School’s Charity Committee is composed of Sixth Form pupils who work alongside staff members and the House Leaders, to organise and lead engaging activities and events throughout the school year, raising both awareness and resources to aid local charities.
Our school’s commitment to charity and community has been abundantly evident throughout the years; with an annual food collection for “Home Start” who offer support, guidance and materials to approximately 27,000 families each year. Furthermore, the most recent Charity Committee has raised over £5200 through various events, including the Bushtucker Trial (Teacher Edition), scavenger hunts, bake sales, sporting events and much more.
Charity within our community offers both participants and those involved in overseeing events the opportunity to gain skills necessary through life – such as the ability to communicate and work as a team while having fun, and strengthening character by exercising compassion and kindness. Pupils of all ages are encouraged to get involved in activities to raise funds for those who are less fortunate than ourselves, for example – Year 8 pupils previously made delicious delicacies that were sold and all the funds raised were donated to the organisation “Stand By Me” in which £245.87 was raised.
Furthermore, charity events offer pupils with varying interests the opportunity to get involved within school in ways that support the wider community – in the past year the Boys’ Rugby team formed a choir in which the funds raised from their performance went to the IRFU charitable trust.
For those less interested in sports, the Drama department held a “School Snippets” cabaret in which all proceeds went to the Northern Ireland Air Ambulance organisation; and the English department and librarians organised a readathon fundraiser in support of the Cancer Fund for Children – raising an impressive £854.
THE HOUSES AND CHARITY
With the recent emergence of houses within Antrim Grammar School, leaders have taken initiative and adopted a primary charity to support through events. The most memorable event this year being the “Big House Quiz” which involved pupils of all ages - providing a day of entertainment for everyone while raising a total of £650 divided across important causes. Representatives answered questions on a diverse range of topics such as movies, sport, music, and AGS knowledge.
Throughout 2022-2023, the house charity events have accumulated a total of £1026.71 to be evenly distributed among the chosen charities.
Tower’s chosen charity is Chest, Heart and Stroke NI in which is currently the only local charity dedicated to preventing chest, heart and stroke illnesses ad well as supporting and caring for those already affected. This charity strives to provide funding for local research into prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and care; as well as campaigning for policies to improve the general health of local people.
They have invested almost £3.5 million into fighting illnesses related to chest, heart and stroke as well as supporting over 17,000 people and organisations across all of their services.
Clotworthy has adopted Aware NI as their local charity to support in which is a mental health based charity in Northern Ireland which focuses on supporting those living with depression and bipolar disorder, as well as carers of those suffering such conditions.
Aware NI provides support groups across the country while also delivering various related programmes to communities, places of education, and workplaces – these programmes include those that focus on mindfulness, wellbeing, and first aid. Furthermore, they hold fundraising events to help financially support their vision of a future where everyone is able to openly discuss mental health and have general living be more accessible to those suffering mental conditions such as depression or bipolar disorder.
Massereene is dedicated to supporting the Paediatric Unit of Antrim Area Hospital in which provides specialised care and service to children who are acutely or chronically ill, have complex health needs, or require a form of palliative care.
The community team works with teachers, carers and special needs assistants to provide training and information for children with specific health needs to ensure they are as healthy and comfortable as possible. In general, they aim to deliver compassionate care within the community while valuing honesty, dedication and working together.
Tardree has been supporting the Woodland Trust organisation as their chosen charity in which is currently the UK’s largest woodland conservation charity that aims to create healthy woods where wildlife can thrive. This charity originated in 1972 and has since planed 55 million trees, as well as restoring 85 thousand hectares of woodland back to life.
Woodland Trust encourages people to get in touch with nature and support a worthy cause that not only affects the earth, climate, and nature – but also people now as well as in the future. They also provide guidance on how to help wildlife and hold occasional events to not only fundraise, but further to raise awareness.