Following a year of hard work (and more than a little fun), our Friends of Vinehall Committee have started to make the annual charity donations from the funds raised by our children and parents.

First on the list, appropriately enough, was Rwanda Aid. This is a charity very close to Vinehall’s heart as its founder David Chaplin is a former Headmaster. We were delighted when David was able to come to school to be presented with the cheque by our Junior Rwanda Aid Ambassadors Connie S and Oliver L.

Rwanda Aid works in the remote south west region of Rwanda, in the districts of Rusizi and Nyamasheke, situated between the Nyungwe Forest and Lake Kivu. Here the people are not only struggling from the aftermath of the genocide in 1994, but they also face desperate poverty.

The FOV aim to raise at least £3000 a year for the Charity to cover the running costs of Vinehall House, a boarding house in Ngwino Nawe, a village for children with disability. Ngwino Nawe means “Come to us.”

The second aim of our fundraising efforts is to support local charities. This year three charities were chosen to receive donations of £1300 each. Those charities were kind enough to come to the school to meet with our Charity Committee members and receive their cheques.

We were delighted to welcome Snowflakes, Believe In You Teens and Xtrax to the school and we are so pleased that we have been able to help them with their hard work.

Snowflakes are a charity based in Hastings. They provide supervised overnight accommodation to homeless people who would otherwise be sleeping rough during the extreme winter months.

Believe In You Teens is a charity for children and their families who are experiencing a wide range of emotional and psychological issues. They provide counselling and parental support as well as behavioural assessments and educational workshops.

The final charity Xtrax also work with young adults, providing them with a safe space to help rebuild their lives. They have a whole host of help available, ranging from immediate assistance such as providing showers and meals to longer term support with places to stay, education and employment.

At Vinehall we have a strong charity ethos, stemming from our motto, to do our best for the benefit of others. Our children are very involved in supporting our charitable causes and as well as the Friends of Vinehall events, we support a variety of charities suggested by the children directly.