In their Diploma lessons this half term, the Lower Sixth Form students are engaging with the local community, many of them through volunteering and outreach placements.

As such, we hosted a series of talks on the 4 November on the theme of social equality, looking at the challenges faced by many charities in the wake of the global pandemic.

The first speaker was Kate McAllister from ‘The Human Hive’. Kate dialed in all the way from the Dominican Republic where she is setting up a school. She spoke to the students about how the charity had started – with a classroom bus, taken to the refugee camps in Calais; and how they could help to support charities like hers.

The second speaker was Katie Fielder from ‘Demelza, Hospice Care for Children’. Katie gave the students a brief overview of how the charity assists terminally ill children and their families, showing a number of case studies. She focused most of her talk on how the organization has been affected by lockdown and Covid-19, both financially and operationally, and how it has had to adapt the support it provides.

Our final speaker was Edna Fernandes, a Trinity parent and co-founder of ‘Beyond Conflict’, a new charity which is working to battle mental illness in refugees from war-torn states by providing access to psychiatrists specialising in trauma. She spoke about the process and challenges of setting up the charity.

All speakers stayed for a Q&A panel from staff and students, where they were able to offer advice on how to be resilient in the face of adversity and how students can support charities.

“It was an honour to have them speak to us. Many of the students said that they found the talks insightful and it encouraged them to think about global issues in more depth. Some students are now going to be assisting these charities to complete project work within their Diploma lessons,” said Mrs Gilmour.

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