Passionate Gants Hill pupils win £1,500 for charity in First Give competition

Valentines High School pupils who won the First Give competition, winning £1,000 for their chosen ch

Valentines High School pupils who won the First Give competition, winning £1,000 for their chosen charity HP-MOS. Rabeena Raveendrakumar, 13, Ciya Sahadevan, 13, Emaan Shakeel, 13, Prachi Chopra, 14, Sara Nazir, 13, and Salvia Miah, 13, with HP-MOS representatives. Picture: Anthony Michael - Credit: Anthony Michael

Passionate teenagers have won £1,000 for a mental health charity, after winning a presentation competition at their school.

Valentines High School pupils who came third in the First Give competition, winning £250 for their c

Valentines High School pupils who came third in the First Give competition, winning £250 for their charity Rainbow Trust. Picture: Anthony Michael - Credit: Anthony Michael

Valentines High School, in Cranbrook Road, Gants Hill, runs the First Give scheme every year – where Year 9 pupils team up to try and win funds for their chosen charities.

On Monday the final five groups gave presentations infront of an esteemed group of judges, including headteacher Richard Laws and Recorder reporter Ralph Blackburn.

All of the teams showed superb knowledge about their chosen charities.

Each had spent four months researching them in personal, social and health education (PSHE) lessons, and some go to visit the charities.

Valentines High School pupils who won £250 for their chosen charity Barnardo's, in the First Give pr

Valentines High School pupils who won £250 for their chosen charity Barnardo's, in the First Give project. Picture: Anthony Michael - Credit: Archant


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The presentations were very creative, with students daubed their faces with purple paint to visualise child abuse and mental illness. Others used poetry and videos to get across important messages.

After much deliberating by judges, it was announced Team Sunshine had won £1,000 for mental health charity HP-MOS.

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Groups representing The Rainbow Trust and Barnardo’s both received £250 for their charities.

Winning pupils Rabeena Raveendrakumar, 13, Ciya Sahadevan, 13, Emaan Shakeel, 13, Prachi Chopra, 14, Sara Nazir, 13, and Salvia Miah, 13, were delighted.

“It feels amazing,” Sara told the Recorder.

“It’s an issue that isn’t spoken about as much as it should be,” said Emaan.

“But all sorts of people have mental health issues, and we want to raise awareness of the services available for them.”

The group will design leaflets with HP-MOS to hand out at school, and will also volunteer for the charity.

Neil McPherson, PSHE teacher, said: “I’m thrilled and overwhelmed by how amazing our students have been.

“The work they’ve put in has been superb.”

Mr McPherson thanked charity First Give for organising the course, and said the lessons were great for “establishing links with the community”.

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