29th June 2020 — When Sue Baillie began her Headship at Queen Margaret’s (QM) in September last year, her first observation was that nowhere is the ‘family feel’ as strong as it is at QM. It is no surprise then, that in the midst of a global pandemic, when it is more important than ever to look out for those around us, members of the QM Family have demonstrated incredible acts of community spirit. Their goodwill and community focus have now earned formal recognition as the School has been shortlisted in the Community Outreach category of the Independent Schools of the Year 2020 awards.
QM has earned its shortlisting following a number of community initiatives by staff and students during the coronavirus outbreak. The all-girls school in York launched a pen pal scheme which pairs current QM girls up with Old Margaretians, the School’s alumnae, so that they can write emails and enjoy phone calls to share their experiences of QM and discuss how they may be feeling during this time of uncertainty. Jane, an Old Margaretian says “What I find truly inspiring is that, in the midst of all this, QM is not only caring about the OMs but reaching out to us as well - I am immensely grateful and touched”.
Other acts of community kindness have included staff using the Art Department sewing machines to make scrubs for the Yorkshire branch of For The Love of Scrubs; a Year V girl using her moped to deliver essential medical supplies to the elderly and vulnerable; and a Year IV girl helping her family to cook over 17,000 meals for NHS staff as part of the Food4Heroes initiative.
Head, Sue Baillie, says: “We have been so inspired by the lengths some of the QM Family have gone to to help during lockdown. We know that our community spirit is what makes QM the very special place it is - to see this being extended far beyond the boundaries of Escrick Park, and for it to be formally recognised by the award shortlisting, is truly heartwarming.”
The winners of the Independent Schools of the Year 2020 awards will be announced in October.