On Tuesday 19th December 124 students and 16 staff from St Wilfrid’s slept out for the night in the school courtyard raising more than £9,000 for our House Charities: Crawley Open House, Friends of Embark, St Catherine’s Hospice, Children with Cancer and Chestnut Tree House.
Each student had to raise a minimum of £25 to take part but this was a whole school fundraising incentive and our Headteacher, Mr Ferry, was challenged by our Sixth Form Leaders to take part. He agreed that if the students in school could raise £1,000 he would take part and should the students raise £2,000 that he would play guitar and sing a song at the sleep out, something that is not in his comfort zone of things to do! To top this, if the students were to raise £3,000 then he will show his musical performance in the Reward Assemblies on the last day of term and if they raise £4,000 he will do this in fancy dress!
The evening started with our Christmas Liturgy then all the Sixth Form students assembled in the Hall where Chris Oxlade from Crawley Open House came along to give a talk to the students about homelessness and how they were helping with the money they raised. At 10.30pm the students gathered in the hall to listen to “Fezza Fest” where Mr Ferry on guitar and vocals, Georgia Green on Guitar and Vocals and Mr Watts on Keyboard performed “Fairytale of New York” which went down very well with the crowd with the staff joining them on stage for an encore.
At midnight, all the students and staff gathered in the courtyard for a candlelight reflection on what they were about to do and to think about all those that were homeless, finishing off singing Silent Night. Everybody then bedded down for the night.
Michael Ferry commented, “I am in awe of the students who took part in the Sleep Out last night. They are an amazing bunch of people and I am so proud to be their Headteacher.
To get 124 17-18 year olds to commit to such a worthy cause, not only to raise money but to send a clear message that homelessness is wrong and as a society we must do something about it, is just phenomenal.
A target of £3,000 was set and if achieved I would sing them a song and play the guitar! Give me a marathon any day! I was nervous but you know what, I would not have done it for anyone else and when the time came, they were wonderful and so supportive.
As I said, they are amazing and I am so lucky and proud to be their Headteacher.”
Head Student Georgia Green commented, “Being a part of such a large event was inspiring. It was an amazing atmosphere and great to see so many of our school community participating to raise money for such a worthy cause. Homelessness effects so many in within Crawley alone so it was wonderful to get the opportunity to organise and help plan the Sleep Out, to get to experience just a taste of what being homeless can mean.”
St Wilfrid’s school community have raised an amazing total of £9,131.35 which will be split between our five house charities.