First Give - Civitas in Action for Year 8

Ark Academy students have won £1,500 for local charities as part of a First Give scheme to raise awareness of social issues and help give back to their community. 

Each Year 8 form group chose a charity to visit and research, before delivering a presentation to a panel of judges who decided who would be awarded the money – the charities ranged from the RSPCA and St Luke’s Hospice to domestic violence organizations, homelessness programmes and food banks.

The judges were extremely impressed with the standard of presentations and after much deliberation Anish and Swapnil from 8Logan were declared the winners.

They collected a cheque for £1000 for Wembley Food Bank, part of the Trussell Trust.  Neola, Lenaya, Nadia and Plamedie from 8Noddack won £250 for Kids Company while Tre, Nebil and Sean from 8Sanger earned £250 for the domestic violence support charity Advance.

Left: Anish and Swapnil deliver their excellent winning presentation.

Anish said: 'We were very confident and we’ve been practicing for the last 5 days, even over the weekend, and at break and lunchtimes at school.

We went to the food bank itself and interviewed 3 people who worked there and they gave us all the information.'



Swapnil continued: ‘It helps the community a lot, we want it to be a better place really and people who don’t have the essentials for life, they really need it. Food is what everyone’s supposed to have so it’s about raising awareness that people need it, and it’s very shocking.’

As Anish quite rightly pointed out: ‘There is no point in living life if you can’t live it to the full.'

When asked why they chose the charity, Swapnil explained: ‘It was the one that shocked us the most. It was inspiring seeing all these people’s stories and how they struggle through the bad times. I’d probably say I would want to do more things like this.’

A great level of preparation had gone into each presentation and there were some imaginative touches such as a drama performance to demonstrate how Advance helps domestic violence victims, and a clip of the musical Oliver! with him asking for more to illustrate the question ‘Would you give them more?’

Tyrell said: 'The reason we did Oliver was because it was the first thing that popped into my mind as it was about food and 'Please sir can I have some more' and it was a bit different – we were trying to be unique.'

Right: 8Noddack call Kids Company to deliver the good news.

Neola talked of her own experience with Kids Company which lent their presentation a personal touch. She explained: 'It gives it more feeling and makes it more real because if you’ve actually been through it you know how to explain it.'

Judge Miss Patel told us why Anish and Swopnil were awarded 1st place:

'We thought they were very confident in their speaking, they had visited the charity, they really understood and had knowledge about what the money was going to be used for and worked really well as a team. When we asked them questions, they took it in turns to answer, were obviously passionate about the topic and knew it was for our community.'

Tim Pear, who represents First Give, described the impact his organisation and projects like this one have on our students.

'What First Give does is give young people a platform from which they can engage with their local communities and for me it’s really important they realise that they have no option to be sitting on the fence about these things.

They’ve got such power and such an ability to make a positive impact; what First Give tries to do, and we've demonstrated this tonight, is give young people that little nudge to say that you can, you can take control of these things, you can make a positive difference to your communities.

They develop an understanding of what social issues are and how they’re linked together and what charities do every day to make their community a better place. So this gives them a role within that.'

Below: Miss Haslam and the three winning groups with their proud form tutors. Everyone say 'Civitas in Action!'