The images on the television news over the summer of people leaving their homes to look for a safer and more secure life in Europe for themselves and their children moved the PGS community to launch a campaign at the beginning of this term to offer some support.
Over the last ten days the whole school has worked together to raise funds and gather items that will go some way towards helping refugees living in the camps of Northern France or travelling through Europe and in need of shelter and support.
This week the Junior School held their annual Harvest Festival in St Thomas’ Cathedral and all the items donated during the service were added to the overwhelming number of donations that had come in from the rest of the school community.
“The response to our appeal for essential items to go to people living in temporary shelter in France has been astonishing,” said Headmaster James Priory. “I have been genuinely moved by the generosity of our pupils and
parents over the last few weeks, the number of care packages we have received has been phenomenal.”
The items collected will be delivered to France by a parent from the school, Helen Wilson. “I felt moved to try and do something to help,” said Helen. “People have fled their homes, many with children the same age as mine, to find a better life and have ended up in camps in France without the things we take for granted like soap, toothbrushes and other basic living supplies. The support from the school and Portsmouth Cathedral in collecting essential items has been fantastic – I may now need to hire a second van!”
On Thursday, Senior School pupils undertook a collection of financial contributions to be donated to Save The Children with pupils giving up their pocket money to support the appeal. In the evening, Sixth Form pupils organised a showcase of musical entertainment for friends and family to continue the fundraising effort.
“Through our pastoral curriculum we have discussed the refugee crisis with our pupils and shown them short films so that they have a better understanding of what is happening,” continued James Priory. “We want them to fully understand where their donations are going and how they will directly be helping other families at a difficult time.”
The school has raised over £1,250 through their activities which will be donated directly to Save The Children Syria Crisis Appeal.