RMS for Girls has smashed all previous fundraising totals by raising a fantastic £17,215.86 for their chosen 2017/18 school charity, the mental health charity SANE (www.sane.org.uk)
Each year, the Deputy Head Girls for Charity shortlist a number of causes, and then every member of the School is asked to vote for their preferred charity to support. Over the years the School has supported charities such as SPARKS, Help for Heroes, The Sohana Research Fund and Centrepoint, but this was the first year that a mental health charity had been chosen,
Spearheaded by the Deputy Head Girls for Charity, Elizabeth Whittaker and Caitlin Finnan, and supported by the School's Charities Committee of pupils in Years 7-12, students have devised and organised a wide range of charity events, including bake sales, non-uniform days, a slime competition and a Lower School disco. The biggest fundraising activity was the Sixth Form Winter Social, and the total was also boosted by a member of the teaching staff, Mrs Hester Eccles, running the London Marathon in aid of the charity, and a parent, Mr Redman, who ran the first South American Marathon des Sables, running 250km over six days across the Ica desert in Peru.
Elizabeth and Caitlin had set the School the challenge of beating the £12,000 that was raised in the last academic year for the children's medical research charity SPARKS (www.sparks.org.uk), which itself had been a then record-breaking sum, and the students were therefore delighted when they unveiled the grand total raised at an assembly last week, which was also attended by members of the SANE Fundraising team. Caitlin said " We were so excited to have raised such a large sum for SANE and to be able to support the crucial and in many cases life changing work they do. Charities like SANE promote issues about which we feel it is important that girls in our school are aware, and we are so proud that our donation will help support seventeen new volunteers for the charity"
Headmaster Kevin Carson said "I am full of admiration for the way in which our Deputy Head Girls have championed the school charity this year, showing huge amounts of commitment, and giving up time to ensure that events run smoothly as well as supporting younger students in their own fundraising endeavours. The girls set themselves a stretching target and I am delighted that their hard work, and the generosity of every member of the RMS community, have together meant that we have raised such a huge amount for such a worthwhile cause"
SANE is a leading UK mental health charity, which works to improve quality of life for anyone affected by mental illness. The charity was established in 1986 to improve the quality of life for people affected by mental illness, following the overwhelming public response to a series of articles published in The Times entitled The Forgotten Illness. These articles exposed the neglect of people suffering from mental illness and the poverty of services and information for individuals and families. SANE's vision has remained consistent throughout its history:
– to raise public awareness and combat stigma about mental illness, to educate and campaign to improve mental health services
– to excite and initiate research into the causes of and treatments for serious mental illnesses
– to provide professional treatment and compassionate care to everyone affected by mental illness
SANE offers emotional support and information to anyone affected by mental health problems through their helpline and online Support Forum where people share their feelings and experiences.