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Wednesday, 12 February 2014
During the Autumn Term, the Girls’ Division voted in the Children’s Adventure Farm Trust (CAFT) as their Charity of the Term. This was part of a new initiative which allows the girls to choose on a termly basis which charity their fundraising efforts will benefit. The whole school contributed to raising money for CAFT last term, with collections taking place at the Autumn Concert and Carol Concert.
This morning Julie Gray, who represents CAFT, visited the school to speak to the girls and collect the £1203.50 they raised last term.
CAFT was founded by Sir Bobby Charlton 28 years ago. Although it is not as well-known as other children’s charities, it has many famous patrons: Andrew Flintoff, Noddy Holder, Sarah Storey and Jason Manford are all on the list!
During the Girls’ Division morning assembly, Julie reminded the girls of the charity’s work. Some of the children CAFT helps are physically disabled, have learning difficulties or are terminally ill. Others are disadvantaged in different ways – living below the poverty line, dealing with parents who have alcohol or drug problems, or acting as young carers for parents and siblings.
They all have one thing in common. They have had the most precious thing taken from them: their childhood.
The charity provides respite to these individuals. They offer week-long holidays at the farm where children can enjoy nutritious food and warm clothing, are made to feel special, and hopefully become inspired to achieve more in their everyday lives. These are “the holiday of a lifetime” for the children, and may be the first and only chance they have to leave their homes and go out into the countryside. CAFT also offers Christmas parties to children who otherwise would not be able to enjoy Christmas, giving them a fairytale experience complete with Christmas Dinner and a special visit – and present! – from Father Christmas.
The charity is aware that the holiday or party may be the last that each individual child is able to enjoy, so they strive to make it amazing for them. Chiefly the farm allows the children to make happy memories in a place where they are safe and well cared for, and offers a break from the hardships of their everyday lives.
However, in order to provide this service, CAFT needs to raise one million pounds in funding each year. 100% of this goes to the children, but with no statutory funding available they rely on donations and fundraising ventures such as the girls’ efforts last term.
In the past ten years, CAFT has gone from helping 500 children per year to 3,000 children per year, so the £1203.50 which the girls raised will make a huge difference. The cheque was presented to Julie by the school’s Charities Representative Hannah Wylie, Miss Marrs, and Mr Radcliffe.
“Please go away feeling very proud of the difference you have made to these children’s lives,” Julie told the girls. “From all the children at CAFT, thank you.”
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