“We walk together, we stand together” – Pupils from Reception age upwards at Alleyn’s School in south-east London embarked on a fundraising walk for Save the Children to help support Ukrainian children and families in need.
The Alleyn’s community has been proactive in coming together to support those in need. As soon as the crisis in Ukraine erupted, the School mobilised to raise funds and offer support to the people most affected by the situation. Since its launch in February, the Alleyn’s School Ukraine Appeal in partnership with Save the Children had raised almost £20,000. But staff and pupils wanted to keep going.
With this in mind, Alleyn’s organised a whole school sponsored walk around Dulwich Village on the last day of term. Alleyn’s is 1328 miles from Kyiv and there are 1329 pupils combined in Alleyn’s Senior and Junior School. The idea was that pupils would walk a two-mile route from the School, around Dulwich Park and back, with the aim of achieving over 2656 miles; the equivalent of walking from Alleyn’s to Kyiv and back (source: Apple Maps). The Infants did a shorter walk around the Townley Road field.
Pupils of all age groups, parents, alumni, governors and friends gathered outside of the Main School dressed in blue and yellow – the colours of the Ukrainian flag. There were smiles all around as everyone greeted each other and set off for the walk. The positive energy and the collective ambition to raise money and the determination to have fun doing it on an unexpectedly cold morning were incredibly heart-warming.
The walk was staggered throughout the morning and it was fantastic to see a steady procession of blue and yellow wind its way through Dulwich Village with passers-by waving their support too.
At the end of the walk, participants returned to the school where they enjoyed refreshments and a message of thanks from Head Mrs Lunnon, who said: “It was very moving to see everyone participate, from Infants to Year 13, teachers, support staff, parents and some alumni. It has been a great community effort.”
In addition to the walk, the School has been supportive in other ways. Every student has written a letter to a Ukrainian refugee which was sent via their supported charity, the Refugee Council. Students also wrote pledges on tags, saying how they could help, which will be tied to a tree in School.
In the Lower School, the pupil-led Charity Committee organised a movie screening and an Easter Scavenger Hunt to raise funds for the Refugee Council.
Some of the Alleyn’s Junior School pupils took the initiative to raise money with an impromptu cake sale and Year 6s were excited to discover that the solvents in the evaporation experiment represented the colours of the Ukraine flag, and dedicated their day to peace in Ukraine.
Throughout these past weeks and in organising these activities, all of the Alleyn’s pupils learned about asylum seekers, refugees and immigrants and the differences between them. As a whole school community, Alleyn’s has pledged to continue educating them on these important topics.
At the time of writing, the Alleyn’s appeal has raised over £36,000. Mrs Lunnon said: “We thank everyone for their generosity, creativity and commitment to helping others. We are so proud of our amazing community.”
Photo credit:: Alleyn’s Senior School