8th June 2021 — Portsmouth High School’s Head Girl team were delighted to announce that they are supporting a Portsmouth based charity, Friends Without Borders, as their Sixth Form charity for the next academic year.
Friends Without Borders provides support for asylum seekers, refugees and immigrants within the Portsmouth area. The charity runs drop-in sessions twice a week providing support, problem solving and socialising opportunities for those who attend. This hopes to reduce isolation and social exclusion by enabling their clients to negotiate bureaucratic systems which they may not understand and to build networks, both professional and personal. The charity helps with weekly payments for subsistence until they are granted state benefits and many other means of support including free legal advice on immigration law from qualified advisers in the Portsmouth area.
‘We chose Friends Without Borders because the work they do is so important to give asylum seekers and refugees a place to go to in order to access help locally,’ said Head Girl, Annalee Macfarlane, 17. ‘We feel the charity is making a real and true difference to people's lives and we wanted to help contribute to this significant cause.’
Dr Bryony Whitmarsh, Co-Chair of the Charity, talked to the whole school in an assembly:
‘Friends Without Borders is extremely proud and grateful to have been chosen as Portsmouth High School’s Sixth Form charity. In fundraising for us and for donations of essential products, pupils will be directly supporting refugees and asylum seekers at one of the most critical times in their lives and helping us to continue our charitable services in very challenging financial times.’
The Head Girl team will spearhead fundraising activities throughout the coming year to generate money and raise awareness of the charity. They will also organise collections of essential products such as toiletries for those able to access the charity.
Portsmouth High School’s Charity Week will take place in November. It has been running for almost 30 years and is always organised entirely by the Sixth Form. The week is made up of talent shows, live music events, an annual netball match versus boys from Portsmouth Grammar School and other events. It culminates in a two night Fashion Show where the Sixth Form use business acumen and entrepreneurial skills to negotiate with local shops and liaise with local businesses to put on the show.
Head of Sixth Form, Mr Rob Smith, added:
‘This is a really worthwhile cause for the team at Portsmouth High School to support. Asylum seekers, refugees and immigrants are very much on everyone’s agenda. We encourage social responsibility as much as academic achievements and the girls give to the community in many other ways too, offering their time and creativity to a huge range of projects. It is always encouraging to see young people engaged with the wider community.’