The Wing of Hope Achievement Award winners of 2010 have returned from a fantastic trip of a lifetime to Chennai in South India. Team ‘Accelerate’ from Dulwich College in London, were the overall winners of the award. Their award winning ideas included an a comedy evening, visiting the High Commissioner of Malawi, producing and selling revision guides in their school and swimming the length of the English Channel!
Alistair Ho, Andreas Chitty, Harry Bellenberg, Sairaj Puvinathan, Vithu Satkunarasan jetted off to Chennai in late August. They organised a cultural exchange show at the school, where they performed an array or dances and songs from their own cultural backgrounds. They then taught students about life in London and Britain, showing them pictures from books and personal photographs. The boys taught students of all ages, teaching the youngest of children nursery rhymes and popular songs from the UK. Their classes were packed with fun and entertaining activities for the children, as the boys designed and lead lessons themselves.
The boys were also lucky enough to see the ground breaking ceremony for the new Wings of Hope School plot in Pondicherry, which the British High Commissioner inaugurated.
The Winners in 2009 were ‘Ribbon in The Sky’ from Haberdashers’ Askes Boys School in Hertfordshire. The team consisted of Sixth Formers Branavan Rudran, Shiv Pabari, Sachin Kotecha, Matthew Naughton, Sahil Shah, and Hamza Zahid.
The team’s first major event was the ‘Sleeping Rough Initiative’ during which the team slept rough on a cold December night in Northwood. The team first arranged permission with the local council and local police, and then spent the day leading up to the event out and about raising awareness and handing out leaflets to local shoppers and businesses. To add an extra element of hardship to their challenge and to increase the amount of sponsorship they raised, the boys decided fast for 24 hours at the same time! The event was a huge success, and the boys were visited during the night by a local councillor and appeared in the Watford Observer Newspaper the next week!
Their next major event was a highly successful Valentines Dinner Dance, at which guests enjoyed a sumptuous meal and evening of entertainment and dancing. The boys also successfully secured donations of a variety of items to auction off on the night, as well as securing stacks of free designer perfume for all the guests!
As well as their two main events, the lads offered their services as tutors for the younger boys at their school, secured donations from a number of companies and businesses, and went about spreading awareness by offering free hugs – and not letting go until they had explained about WOHAA!
The Winners of WOHAA 2007-08 were called ckeBAM, a group which included Courtney Marks, Kristina Gadsby, Emma Roberts, Alexandra Wylie, Maddy O’Bryen and Bonnie Groves all aged 15 years old from Channing School in Highgate.
Where do we begin? The group started raising money by organising smaller events such as waitressing, babysitting and dog walking. Later they made collection boxes for local shops and offices buildings. For Halloween the group dressed up in Wings of Hope inspired costumes and went from door-to-door talking about the charity, collecting donations and a few sweets along the way. The main event would take place on ice, however to cover the venue costs they held a sponsored fast. From 6pm on 24th November to 6pm on the 25th, nothing passed their lips. This idea of food or lack it seemed to play a big part the fundraising, with cake sales in local parks and a fresh soup stall on the High Street.
The internet was another great way the group spread WOHAA beyond their local community by setting up a Justgiving page. Afterwards they created a virtual Christmas tree website for people to add decorations in exchange for a small donation. At this point the group were unstoppable with the next big WOHAA idea taking place at the investment bank JP Morgan, where they took part in one-day course on public speaking and fundraising by the Philanthropy Group. The very next day the group gave a presentation to Wheb Ventures, a clean technology capital fund. The presentation went brilliantly, resulting in donations of over £600.
The grand finale was an Ice Disco for years 7 and 8. So after negotiating the hire of the rink, they made posters advertising the disco and sold tickets at local schools. The fundraising didn’t stop there as not to miss a money making opportunity the group sold soft drinks and krispy kremes donuts during the event. The icing on the cake however was when a photographer and journalist from the local paper turn up after the group sent out a press release. The next week they made the front page.
The winners of 2006-07 were a group of five girls from the Francis Holland School, London. The efforts of Eleanor Matthews, Jade Nabulsi, Amy Webster, Malika Hemmnani, Matilda Thaddeus-Johns and Anouska D’abo meant they all travelled to a Wings of Hope school in Chromepet, Chennai, Southern India.
The fundraising idea which took the team all that way was a simple one. They held an auction at their school with designer bags, shoes and even paintings donated by local high street stores.The team contacted Sotheby’s about how to best conduct an auction. Much to their surprise the person who actually came and helped was none other than Lord Harry Dalmeny, Chairman of Sotheby’s.
The team managed to raise an incredible £10,500. Enough to put seventy underprivileged children through an entire year’s education.
During the time spent in India the girls were able to help teach and lead general knowledge sessions at one of the schools they had worked hard all year to raise funds for. This was a fantastic experience for students from the UK and India alike with a passionate sense of fun and learning being the hallmark of the entire trip.