Supporting others is embedded within the St Helen’s culture and our pupils raise significant amounts for charities at community events, such as our annual Calendar Sale, and participate in a range of community service projects.
Pupils are encouraged to look beyond the school community, to use their talents for the benefit of others and to get involved in charitable projects. They are constantly identifying new and innovative ways to help people within the local community and further afield, raising the girls’ awareness of our global community.
The School’s direct charitable activities are co-ordinated by a Sixth Form Charities Team, led by the Charities Prefect. The School supports a wide range of good causes each year, and fund- and awareness-raising is carried out under a whole-School theme. In 2018-19 our charities theme was ‘Community’, and we began the year by holding a three-legged walk for the whole School in support of Walking with the Wounded, raising in excess of £5000. Our annual Calendar Sale (which for over a century has been the St Helen’s equivalent of a Christmas Fayre) raises thousands of pounds each year for a wide range of local, national and international charities, all nominated by the pupils themselves. In 2019-20 our theme is ‘the Senses’.
Phab Week has been a fixture in the St Helen’s calendar for over 40 years, and involves pupils from St Helen’s School and Merchant Taylors’ School running a residential week of activities for around twenty disabled boys and girls, hosted at Merchant Taylors’ School. Combining fundraising throughout the year with an intense week of fun, friendship and support for the guests, our pupils have invariably found this to be one of their most rewarding experiences at St Helen’s. We have additionally launched a Phab Club where girls in Year 10 and above, alongside their counterparts from Merchant Taylors’, can provide regular ‘youth club’ events and activities for a wider range of disabled guests.
As part of overseas expeditions, St Helen’s students frequently participate in community projects in less-developed areas of the world, working alongside local inhabitants to improve facilities and quality of life. St Helen’s pupils have supported local projects in Malawi (2014) and Morocco (2016 & 2018). In the summer of 2019 a group of Sixth Form students took part in a community project in the Ugandan village of Mitete, to refurbish the village school and construct a bore hole for the village.