St Margaret's School Bursaries Project
How did the project start?
The project started in response to the pandemic through a conversation with Headteacher Mr Wilson in early summer 2020 about how the church community could most helpfully support families who attend the school at this time. He explained that in his view some kids really miss out on going outside, exercise and stimulation more than anything over the holidays. So the initial phase of the project over the summer break (providing holiday camp places) was responding to this need, especially as the school had been closed for a period.
What has the feedback been to the project so far?
Mr Wilson gave some feedback to say that it gave those children a summer that they otherwise just wouldn’t have had. He said it was clear that they came back after the holidays so much more refreshed and ready to learn, having had a really great summer. One of the sports coaches who ran the camp commented: “I think especially during these times that we are in, it was great to have the support of the church for parents who needed it but could not afford it.” Some comments from parents about the summer camp: “Thank you so much for the program it was a great relief that my child could attend, especially after lockdown”; “My children enjoyed the sessions everyday and got home really worn out”; “We are very happy that our child got to see their friends after such a long time”.
How is the project funded?
In early summer 2020, £2,000 was raised for places at the summer camp. This was through informal fundraising organised by Fran Browne - Donations were from other like-minded parents who wanted to contribute, some people in the church choir and a few other members of the congregation who saw the piece that was in Leeway about it at the beginning of the summer. Fran then spoke to the PCC who, on behalf of our church community pledged some additional money to top up what had been raised from individuals.
The funding already raised was sufficient to provide places for 9 children to attend the summer camp for up to three weeks each. We are also providing some places this autumn half term.
How can I help and what does it cost?
We are asking for donations to fund further holiday camp places in future school holidays. We also want to provide funding for after school sports clubs and music lessons.
An after school sports club once a week costs £60 for a term, while learning an instrument in a small group is £50 per term. A whole week of fun physical activity in the school holidays costs £110 per child. Could you maybe sponsor one of these bursaries and support a child in this parish to have the opportunity to learn an instrument or give them the gift of a fun-packed holiday they wouldn’t otherwise experience?
How long will the project last?
We would love for the bursaries project to be a long term feature of the church community’s support for our school. Whether you are able to provide a regular donation or a one-off contribution, every pound raised will be a benefit to the less advantaged children in our parish. We will continue to talk to the school’s headteacher about what support is most valued and feed back to the church community as the project evolves.
Donations can be made to St Margaret's PCC by Cheque via the Visitors' Centre postbox or directly to bank.
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