James Allen’s Prep School became a ‘Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots’ school 2 years ago. The Roots & Shoots Ethos is to help make the world a happier place by looking after people, animals and the environment. We therefore encourage pupils to be considerate to others, both people and animals; not only within school but also in the wider community.
Charity is an important part of each term and our activities revolve around giving of our time in addition to fundraising. We aim to support at least three charities every year, with one or more of these being based in our local area. Charity events include house cake sales, own clothes days, ‘Movie nights’ and practical donations, such as harvest festival food (which go to Fred Francis residents, or outgrown clothes, which get sent to Bright Stars nursery).
The Prep school has an on-going relationship with the Fred Francis Centre, a day-care centre for elderly people in the Dulwich area. The girls visit regularly throughout the year to spend time chatting with the residents and, at times such as Christmas, entertaining with singing and music. For the past five years, we have been supporting the Bright Stars Nursery in Tanzania through a programme of fundraising (from raffles to discos), that the girls organise themselves. We have managed to raise enough money to sponsor children through their schooling and build a new kitchen and dining room.
There have been occasions where the schools have made a special effort to raise a larger sum of money, for an immediate disaster. A few years ago, the girls raised £9000 to help the people caught up in the flooding in Pakistan. Last year, we raised £22,000 for the Nepalese, after the earthquake hit the country.
We have now established a link, through the Himalayan Trust, with Deurali School, near Kathmandhu, and as well as money to rebuild their school, we have sent the children equipment, such as rucksacs, pencil cases and medical kits. We hope to continue this link and support. We were delighted to receive the Most Oustanding School Award, at the annual Roots & Shoots Award Ceremony, for our Nepal Fundraising Project ‘Moving Mountains’.
The Pre-Prep sponsor the education of a number of children in the developing world through the charity Plan. Once these children graduate as young people, the charity assigns us a new set of children to support.
Our annual calendar of charity events also supports Love in a Box organised by Mustard Seed Mission, Red Nose Day in support of Comic Relief, Jeans for Genes, Siyabonga House (An orphanage in Africa), Rise Africa UK , AFFCAD (An African charity supporting children living in slums), Deurali School in Nepal, The Jane Goodall Institute UK and the Peckham Food Bank.