Covid volunteers, charity fundraisers, award winners and Youth Parliament members at Bognor school

Felpham Community College (FCC) hosted an end-of-term non-school uniform day last Thursday to raise money for charity and to improve outdoor space at the school.

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 1:19 pm

Staff and students were invited to pay a £1 fine to ditch their uniform for the day and wear what they want, with half of the money raised going to Choose Love, a charity which raises money for Help Refugees to support displaced and vulnerable communities.

The charity was chosen by year-eight student Elise Cauchy-Duval, who has been designing and making face masks, blankets and bags, to sell to raise money for Choose Love.

Elise said: “I got a sewing machine for Christmas and I have really enjoyed developing my skills.

Felpham Community College has had a lot to celebrate
Felpham Community College has had a lot to celebrate

“I wanted to do something for charity in lockdown so started making the masks, bags and blankets, and now we are back at school I have been making the masks and selling to my friends and staff.

“I have made over £100 so far and have really enjoyed doing it.

“It is great that the non-school uniform day is also supporting my chosen charity, Choose Love.”

The rest of the money raised from the non-uniform day will go towards improving the outdoor space for FCC students.

Elise Cauchy-Duval with some of her masks

FCC also had reason to celebrate after it was awarded a West Sussex Youth Cabinet Gold Democracy Award – and one of its students was elected to the Youth Parliament.

Year-nine student Hollie Jones was voted in as a deputy member.

She said: “It was great for FCC to get behind me and vote and also for so many students to take part.

“Following the election, I was really chuffed to elected into the Youth Parliament and wow, what a year.

Joe Reavey

“My role as deputy member means I stand with the Member of the Youth Parliament (MYP) and support them in leading the Youth Cabinet for Chichester and West Arun.

“It is a great opportunity to be involved in.”

FCC’s gold award recognises that over 90 per cent of its students contributed to the latest West Sussex Youth Cabinet and UK Youth Parliament elections in 2020.

Head teacher Mark Anstiss said: “We feel at Felpham that student voice is very important. We use a number of opportunities throughout the school year to allow students to vote for various things – for example in September they choose and vote for their student council class representatives; in November as part of UK Parliament Week, they voted for what charities to support for our annual charity week; and in the summer term students vote for who they would like from our sixth form to represent the student body as the sixth form leadership team.

Top, Young Writers competition winners with English teacher Stephen Castle and, bottom, FCC deputy head teacher Ed Whiffin, Hollie Jones, Maddie Wood-Field (head student), Barty Hawkins, and head teacher Mark Anstiss

“The Youth Parliament elections were an excellent opportunity for our students to take part in an external voting campaign which ran across the county.

“It was extra important to us as one of our students was in the election.

“We are very proud of her for putting herself forward for election and for what she has achieved in the role.”

Meanwhile, five students from years seven and eight will have their 100-word mini-saga stories published in a book, Unsolved – Adventures From the UK, after winning a Young Writers competition.

Young Writers runs national writing competitions throughout the academic year to encourage young people to engage in creative writing.

Year-seven student Phoebe Sheppard said: “The story is only allowed to be 100 words so it is hard work to fit all your ideas into only that. I am really pleased that my entry was successful as I worked really hard on it. I am looking forward to seeing it in print.”

Some of the FCC sixth form charity committee on non-uniform day

English teacher Stephen Castle said: “We also enjoy taking part in these competitions. I really enjoy reading the entries before we send them off, the imagination our students have is always excellent. Well done to all our students who submitted a story, and particular congratulations to our winning five.”

Finally, year-12 student and St John Ambulance volunteer Joe Reavey has been helping at Covid vaccination centres.

As one of 30,500 St John Ambulance vaccination volunteers across the country, Joe received NHS training including the science behind the vaccines, patient advocacy, and CPR and emergency care.

He is booked to do 60 hours of shifts over the Easter holiday at Gosport, Southsea, Salisbury and the Excel Centre in London.

Joe said: “I decided to volunteer in January when they were doing the campaign for people to come forward. The training was in-depth, I had to do quite a few hours online and then a day face to face.

“Working for St John’s means we are filling in the gaps where they need extra volunteers which is why I am based at lots of different venues, including the Excel Centre in London.

“It has been a great experience to be a part of, it is great to feel I am helping in the pandemic and I will continue to help as long as they need me.”

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