13th January 2022 — The Farnborough Hill community once again showed its care and compassion this Christmas, pulling together to contribute to a winter clothes collection for refugees and those most in need during the festive season.
Encouraged by Annabel (UVI Chaplaincy Prefect), who saw the Care4Calais initiative and felt compelled to act, our CAFOD Young Leaders Team rapidly distributed posters, talked to Form Groups and coordinated with the Year 8 Social Justice Club members to make it all possible prior to the School’s Christmas break.
The response from families was incredibly generous and what started with a seed of hope and willingness to support others suddenly became a colossal logistical operation where, a few days later, volunteers managed to effortlessly sort, fold, box and label the many mountains of bagged clothes which were received.
The energy in among the volunteer pupils in the sorting room was heartwarming and uplifting. Our teams were unstoppable, and we made sure the job was done by the last day of term.
Having been told by Care4Calais that they had no capacity for further donations, we were advised to contact The Cowshed in Reading, a charity which provides support to people of all backgrounds in a time of personal crisis.
The Cowshed, following referrals by health visitors, Social Services, foodbanks, schools, refuge organisations, churches, doctors and a number of other local charities, provides clothing and essential items to those in a range of difficult situations who need a helping hand. The charity were delighted to welcome the School’s donations, which we delivered on Monday 13 December, the first day of the School’s Christmas holiday.
Mrs Marimar Tyler, Teacher of Modern Foreign Languages and Co-leader of the CAFOD Young Leaders Training Programme, commented: “We are very grateful to each of the girls and families who made it all possible, wholeheartedly and joyfully, at such a special time of the year.”
“I was amazed not only by the work taking place at the Reading Donation Centre, but also by their values,” Mrs Tyler continued. “The Cowshed staff and team of volunteers are committed to protecting the environment by recycling donated items, and their quality control motto “Should I Donate it?” ensures those individuals being helped receive, with dignity, a gift worth giving.”