It may have been an abnormal first year for our newest intake of Faulkner’s pupils but there is no doubt that they have embraced Bradfield’s culture and have shown a genuine commitment to bursting the bubble and making a difference.
During the pandemic our pupils have taken the initiative to look outwards, embracing volunteering opportunities and helping charitable causes and, in the process, developed the traits which are key to our education for life. Whether it’s building resilience by climbing the height of Everest not once, but twice, having the open-mindedness to reach out to their local community and utilise their culinary skills or showing the confidence and determination to run four marathons for charity, our Faulkner’s pupils have proved they can be a force for change in a Bradfield without borders.
Here five pupils discuss some of the initiatives they have undertaken this year.
I learnt to keep my head up and work hard.Harry (LD)
“Our community walked, cycled, ran, rowed and skipped their way through a 24-hour challenge to raise money and awareness for Head for Change, a new charity pioneering positive change for brain health in sport.
“I cycled for an hour and went almost 30km. Although I did the challenge alone as we were in lockdown at the time, I really enjoyed it. The hardest part of the challenge was the physical task, but I kept going for the full duration and I learnt to keep my head up and work hard.”
Pupils, parents, HsMs and tutors took on a one or two-hour physical activity over a 24-hour period to raise £1000 for the Head for Change charity which supports ex-players who are affected by neurodegenerative disease as a result of their career playing football or rugby.
Prior to the challenge former Rugby Union player and Wales International Alix Popham, Head for Change Ambassador, joined Faulkner’s pupils for a live Q&A which provided a chance for them to learn more about the charity’s work and find out how they would be playing a vital supporting role by completing the challenge.
A huge thank you to the whole community who helped to raise over £2,300.
“I am so grateful to all my sponsors for their generosity in helping me to raise £900 for the RSPCA, rising to £1,080 with Gift Aid.”Bella (LK)
“I decided to raise money for RSPCA because I have always loved animals and I have previously organised a fundraiser for them. They promote animal welfare and help rescue and treat suffering and neglected animals.”
“I designed and produced a line of chocolates that I called Doodles Chocolates. There were nine flavours: Nutcase, The Boozy One, The Earl’s Tea, Mintola, Bella-bee, Fruit ’n’ Nut, Berry Messy, PB&J and Doodle de Leche!”
To help make the quantity she needed, Bella taught some chefs how to make each chocolate and before hand-embossing the boxes with the Doodles Chocolates logo in gold. She invited friends and family to purchase a box of chocolates for £15 each but many chose to give more.
that they were finding it difficult to set up fundraising events because of the pandemic. I thought that it would be a good personal challenge whilst being able to help a charity out.Ethan (LD)
“My challenge was to run 105 miles, which is the distance of four marathons, in a month, to fundraise for Naomi House. I thought that it would be a good personal challenge whilst being able to help a charity out. I knew that they were finding it difficult to set up fundraising events because of the pandemic.
“I had to find time in between school commitments but found time to go on a long run every weekend after a match on Saturday and a football and cricket match on Sunday. My shorter distance times became quicker like I was able to do 5k run under 20 mins because of this. When we returned to Bradfield, I was also able to combine this with the 24-hour challenge. I ran a half Marathon and then cycled the rest to contribute to my 105 miles in March.”
Ethan was raising money for Naomi House and Jacksplace, which are hospices for children and young adults with life limiting conditions and life-threatening conditions.
Having initially set a target of £400, Ethan completed 109.5 miles in total and nearly doubled his target by raising £760.
I was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2016 so I wanted to find a way of helping The Brain Tumour Charity as it is so important.Poppy (LI)
“I was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2016 so I wanted to find a way of helping The Brain Tumour Charity as it is so important and helps so many people around the world every day but needs as much fundraising as possible to keep up their research.
“I decided to raise money through baking. My initial goal was to raise £50 and I ended up raising nearly £700 for the charity. I baked for pretty much the whole of half term to fulfil people’s orders, but I had lots of support from family and friends with my fundraising.”
Poppy’s baking was not solely about fundraising as she selflessly wanted to make an impact within her local community. When the pandemic started, Poppy wanted to lift people’s spirits, so she started baking treats to give to others in need. She began by delivering them to people in Hamstead Marshall and, after hearing about weekly parcel deliveries made by Kintbury Volunteers Group, she increased her baking to include those families. Every cake, box of muffins, of biscuits she lovingly prepared had a label with “Love from Poppy” on it.
The volunteer group and Kintbury Parish Council were so impressed that they nominated Poppy for a West Berkshire Community Champion Award and she was subsequently named the 2020 Pat Eastop MBE Junior Citizen of the Year. The awards panel was impressed by Poppy’s determination and the joy her baking brought to others during lockdown, particularly those who were in real need.
Both Kintbury and Hamstead Marshall residents applauded Poppy’s actions and some of the elderly residents’ hearts were warmed by the fact that someone so young had cared enough to go to the effort of making something special for them. Her selfless actions have had a great impact on her local community and made a real difference to the lives of many people during a difficult time.
After my first climb my dad’s surgeon said if we raised enough money he would be able to buy a Cortical Stimulator. This encouraged me to carry on climbing for a second time.Issy (LI)
“During the lockdown my brother told me the Army were climbing the ‘Staircase Everest’ so I wanted to try it out myself. I was fundraising for Southampton Hospital Charity and in particular their Neurological Centre. My aim was to climb the height of Everest and, once I did it, I wanted to do it again.
“I chose that charity because my dad was diagnosed with a brain tumour and I wanted to do something to help him and the hospital. After my first climb my dad’s surgeon said if we raised enough money he would be able to buy a Cortical Stimulator, a very important piece of kit used in awake brain tumour surgery. This encouraged me to carry on climbing for a second time. In all it took me 47 days to climb Everest twice. I climbed 4624 flights of stairs, a total height of 12,492.9 metres. Climbing hills on my bike I rode 442.27 kilometres giving me a height of 5234 metres.”
While admitting it was the most difficult part of her challenge, Issy showed true resilience to get up every day for a month and complete 109 staircase climbs, all whilst home schooling. She wrote a daily blog on her Just Giving page, her brother helped her with cricket catching practice as she walked up the stairs and her dad joined her on the bike rides. In total Issy raised over £16,150.