We’ll do almost anything for charity!
The School raises over £20,000 per year for chosen charities, which range from local to national and international. Through fundraising, pupils not only work together to help those less who are less fortunate, they also learn about different worthy causes, both close to home and further afield.
There are special links with a number of charity projects in Tamil Nadu in India to which pupils every year have the opportunity to travel every year, staying at a local ashram. Nearby there is the Tim Pruss Memorial School, in Inungur, which was founded in memory of Tim, an Old Chigwellian who sadly died in 2005, aged just eighteen. Chigwell pupils visit the School and have the chance to teach and work there This school was started by Chigwell parents a number of years ago and, in order to raise funds for both the ongoing work of the school and to support projects in the local community, pupils take part in a number of activities every term.
While she was still a pupil at Chigwell, Grace Boxall set up her own charity Smiles With Grace. When Grace tragically died in 2013, after a long and brave battle with illness, a number of Chigwell pupils became patrons of her charity and we continue to support the valuable work that Grace began.
Each year, the Chapel Choir leads a Christmas service in Westminster to raise funds for the charity Kids Inspire. Meanwhile, large numbers of Chigwell parents, staff and Old Chigwellians run in the Royal Parks half marathon to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
Pupils also have the opportunity to join a charities committee which organises a range of events throughout the year, with the highlight being Charities Week. This takes place towards the end of the Michaelmas term, and is entirely led by the pupils. Each Senior School house has a nominated day in which they try to raise as much money as possible through a variety of events, and the Junior School has a day for all year groups to join together in their efforts. Pre Prep charity events take place across the school year.
Each year, the Tim Pruss Prize is awarded to support Chigwell students who wish to carry out charitable work overseas which will benefit others and the students themselves in the process. The prize is in memory of Tim Pruss O.C. who sadly died in December 2005 at the age of 18 and numerous students have been encouraged to volunteer all around the world. For example, this video gives a flavour of the work carried out by Zach Bacon and Kirthana Selvakumar who helped build a library for an orphanage in Sri Lanka.
See picture above
The Pre Prep visited Chigwell Riding Trust
Community service is an important aspect at Chigwell as we are very keen to maintain a strong bond between the School and the local area, and to reinforce the spirit of service to the community. Pupils are strongly encouraged to be involved in working with local charities and community organisations. Many organise voluntary work with organisations such as Haven House Children’s Hospice, ELHAP disabled play area, Chigwell Riding Trust and Streets2Homes homeless persons’ charity.
Some pupils are elected onto the Epping Forest Youth Council which provides experience of working with local government and allows them to share ideas for improving local services. Many arrange to carry out work experience within the community, related to careers that they hope to pursue in the future or through schemes such as NCS, DofE or the Chigwell Award.
Within the Chigwell community, older pupils are encourage to work with younger ones. For example, Junior School pupils might be chess buddies to Pre Prep children and sixth formers help some Junior pupils with extra reading.
Every year there is an activities week for the whole school. This takes place towards the end of the Trinity Term in the summer. Parts of the programme introduce pupils to a variety of community activities so that, over their years at school, Chigwell pupils all experience the benefits that community service provides.