Thursday 18 November, 2021

National Awards recognise the extraordinary contribution of UK schoolchildren

More than 60 school students from Yorkshire to Kent will come together in the glittering surroundings of the City’s Goldsmiths’ Hall for the national finals of the Goldsmiths’ Company Awards for Community Engagement. These Awards celebrate and reward the extraordinary range of activities schools undertake to make their local communities a better place to live. The winning school will receive a gold medal (designed and donated by Fattorini & Co) plus a cheque for £3,000. The runners up, a silver medal and £1,000.

Last year’s winners included a Northwest Sixth Form working – at great personal risk – with young men trafficked into human slavery. And a South London school that made it their job to teach pupils in their primary feeder schools what to do when someone is stabbed. Everyone in the team had experienced knife violence.

Selected from over 100 entries nationally, this year’s eight schools showcase local initiatives ranging from support for dementia care, to protecting the environment and improving literacy. Another school reached out across the faith boundaries so that working together pupils could provide warm food for homeless people on their city streets.

The Awards were launched by Goldsmiths in 2018 to ensure the often-unrecognised school-wide community activities receive the profile they deserve. Over the past eighteen months the pandemic has highlighted that schools, sitting at the centre of their communities, are much more than just places of study. 

According to Judith Cobham-Lowe OBE, who chairs the Awards, “Schools are incredibly proud to be recognized for something they believe in, that they know isn’t usually noticed. At the Goldsmiths’ Company, we feel privileged to be able to support these young people whose outstanding initiatives are improving lives in the local community.”

Michael Rollinson, Assistant Head at Manchester Grammar School, said: “The prize money from the Award allowed us to purchase tablets to enhance the language learning classes for the trafficked men, as well as Wi-Fi for the safe houses. It’s also enabled the main location to provide continuous support throughout the pandemic”

Congratulations to the following schools for making it through to the National Finals of the Goldsmiths’ Company Awards for Community Engagement.  The schools will compete for a first prize of £3,000 which will contribute to increasing the impact of their charitable activities:

•    Leeds East Academy
•    Gordon's School, Woking
•    Saint Pius X Catholic High School, Rotherham
•    Eden Girls’ School, Coventry
•    Oasis Academy, Isle of Sheppey
•    Ryburn Valley High School, Sowerby Bridge
•    The John Roan School, London
•    Bromsgrove School

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