We have had another busy term of fundraising and it saw the culmination of the St Catherine’s Five-0 NatWest enterprise challenge project. The team of Y9 students and their supporters went all out to try and top the amount they raised last year. However they were also trying to juggle their commitments to their new GCSE courses and so this did prove to be a challenge.
When the 11 Weeks ended on April 9th they were literally counting the cash from their last cake sale when Keely Bicknell from St Catherine’s came to collect our donation. The students had managed to raise just under £900 from their original £50 stake.
Then came the final part of the challenge preparing for the awards ceremony on the 11th May at the Holiday Inn Gatwick. The students had to prepare and deliver a presentation to a panel of 5 judges and an audience of NatWest Mentors, parents, siblings and other invited guests. They were in competition with 3 other schools on the night – Tanbridge House, Hazelwick and The Gatwick School. There were 4 awards presented:
- Best Presentation
- Most original and innovative fundraising idea
- Most money raised
- Most money raised per pupil
The Thomas Bennett Team were the first to present to the judges and they gave a confident explanation of the variety of events they had arranged and also the methods they had used to raise awareness and the profile of the work of the hospice. The judges gave feedback after their presentation and they said that they were impressed with the directness of their information and its confident and organised delivery. They also commended the team on the variety of activities they displayed and the originality of some of their fundraising ideas.
The first award presented after the judges had returned from their deliberations was the one for best presentation and this was given to Tanbridge House and whilst the team were disappointed to hand over the award they had won last year they agreed that they were worthy winners.
The judges then moved on to the award for most innovative idea and they told the audience that this is what had delay their deliberations because they had to really choose between two schools that were neck and neck with each other – Tanbridge House and Thomas Bennett – they felt that Thomas Bennett had come up with the best original items for sale i.e. our Best Mum in the world wooden spoons and rolling pins but that Tanbridge had pipped us at the post by their use of a testimonial video from a student whose family had experienced the care given to her dad prior to his death at the end of last year. Again we were disappointed but we could see the impact that the video had as it was included in the Tanbridge House presentation.
The final two awards went to Hazelwick who raise the most money, over £8000 and the Gatwick school who with just over 200 students in their school secured the most money raised per pupil.
This time we did not come away with an award but the students could come away knowing that through their efforts the hospice has raised enough money to run its services for one day. We also came away with lots of new ideas of how to maximise our fundraising next year to hopefully secure both a fantastic sum and an award!