‘Charity begins at home’. Whether or not you agree with this sentiment, Stormont’s long-established tradition of supporting local, national and international causes over the years is something we all feel has great value – developing young people with positive values, a caring approach towards others and a strong sense of social responsibility.
This year we have committed to supporting the Hart and Parker Trust, a local charity that offers practical financial support to local people in need through one-off hardship grants. They also support local food banks and have links with Potters Bar Sixty Plus and Herts Vision Loss. Through these connections, as well as through their links with local doctors, social services and other support groups, the Trust is able to help individuals and families who find themselves struggling for whatever reason; I suspect that their prompt interventions have prevented the people they have helped from facing even greater hardship at a later date. We want to continue to support the work of the four trustees who operate this worthy local charity, and so Stormont has committed to a long-term partnership with them. I am proud that half of the money we raise each year will help local people in need.
The other charity commitment we make has always changed each year, and we will continue to do this going forward into 2019-20. The House Captains’ nominations and presentations to the rest of the girls last autumn resulted in the RSPCA winning hands down in the school-wide vote over Noah’s Ark Hospice and Make a Wish. Next year, we will be asking the House Captains to select a small, local charity to promote from a short list drawn up by the School; in order for us to compile such a list, I would like to invite suggestions from the whole Stormont community. If you know of a good cause that would be a suitable beneficiary, please let me know.
To ensure that we can all focus our efforts on supporting two good causes every year, and to avoid compassion fatigue, we don’t usually support any other charities (such as Red Nose Day) as a School, although we are always very happy to hear about and celebrate any work done by the girls and their families beyond the gates.
Finally, thank you to all of the parents, families and friends for the support you give to the girls in their efforts to raise money for charity. You are helping them to make a difference.