Matthew Burns

Sedbergh Gives Back

On Tuesday 10 December, all pupils and staff from Sedbergh School undertook a full day’s work for various charities and local communities as part of their outreach initiative.

The Headmaster, Mr Dan Harrison, introduced a bold and creative initiative in 2018 to help prevent pupils becoming stifled by the sense of privilege and entitlement. The usual end of term trips and excursions were cancelled and replaced by a day of charitable activity for the benefit of others. Each Boarding House chooses its own project to contribute to the School’s endeavour to give something back to the wider community.

Pupils provided support at nearby conservation sites in the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Park, contributed large donations to food banks and homeless shelters, helped build a wheelchair accessible assault course at Bendrigg Trust, visited Doncaster to help clean up after the recent floods and supplied St John’s Hospice with 500 mince pies for their ‘Light up a Life’ services.

Sedbergh School runs numerous community outreach projects throughout the academic year which include local conservation projects within the Yorkshire Dales National Park and every week, 50 pupils provide voluntary service across a wide range of local services. In October, Sedbergh was recognised for it’s community work by being awarded the Community Outreach award at the Independent Schools of the Year awards.

Mr Dan Harrison has said “I am very proud of the way that we gave back as a School. To have 9 different projects all around the North, helping out a variety of organisations is the right thing to do and makes our pupils think about the true meaning of Christmas.”

Carus House sang carols in Liverpool One, to help raise funds for local charity Kind Liverpool and their Christmas appeal.
Evans House visited Doncaster Rovers to provide support to their stadium preparation team. Once they had litter picked and maintained the surrounding shrubbery, the pupils then met with a member of Doncaster Council to help continue the clean up following the recent floods.
Hart House completed a month’s worth of work in just one day for the UK’s largest woodland conservation charity, Woodland Trust. Pupils carried out vital maintenance work, as well as habitat preservation.
Lupton House travelled to the family church of their Housemistress, Mrs Jenny McDonald, in Liverpool. Having first cleaned and decorated, the pupils then hosted afternoon tea for the public and local homes. Bags were also made as donations to women’s refuge.
Powell House made the short trip to nearby Bendrigg Trust to work on a number of projects throughout the day. The biggest project they helped build was a wheelchair accessible assault course.
Robertson House stayed local and provided some wonderful festive cheer to Sedbergh. Pupils sang carols and delivered numerous handmade Christmas cards and wreaths to the local community. The House also baked 500 mince pies to help support St John’s Hospice ‘Light up a Life’ services.
School House headed to Latterbarrow nature reserve, in the Lake District, to work with Cumbria Wildlife. Pupils worked to maintain the surrounding grassland and to help reshape the environment to support local habitats.
Sedgwick House have been fundraising to help gather supplies to create large charity packages to donate to homeless shelters and food banks. The packages contained clothes, emergency food and everyday essentials.
Winder House spent the day in Ambleside, at Brathay Trust. A charity that supports young people and families. At their residential site, pupils cleaned buildings and cleared the gardens ready for upcoming residential visits.

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