Cheadle Hulme School’s Year 11 Captains this year embarked on an ambitious fundraising journey, to raise the money required to fund one student place for a year at the School. Here, they explain how they embraced that challenge and explore some of the leadership lessons they learned along the way.
In September 2016, Head of Upper School Mr Tann threw down the gauntlet, challenging us raise £10,000 for the CHS Bursary Fund by May 2017.
The most Year 11 Captains had raised before was around £2,000; we knew we had a big task ahead of us.
Through various events and activities we organised, we managed to total £5,000 in donations; this is something we are all extremely proud of.
Whilst there are some fundraising events which are traditionally organised by the Year 11 Captains each year, such as the Charity Fashion Show and lunchtime cake sales, we were determined to do something different.
We wanted not only to do more but to also plan an ongoing programme of events through the year, to keep up the fundraising momentum.
The best way to approach any big task is to break it down in to manageable, bite-size chunks.
We split up in to separate sub-committees, each assigned to different events throughout the year, with leaders who could have an overview of the wider programme.
From the customary Fashion Show to new events such as our Golf Day, the committees did a great job in focusing on their allocated events to make the best of them.
Splitting the team up meant that we could best utilise the different skills of all the Year 11 Captains, ensuring a high standard across all of the events; no individual felt overwhelmed.
We didn’t want anyone to be disappointed; we wanted to produce a professional output in everything we did.
Mr Tann was a great mentor and guide. He allowed us the freedom to make our own decisions and learn from any mistakes we consequently made along the way. Both he and Head of Year 11, Mr Jones were there to help if we were stuck but handed the reins back to us to keep moving forwards.
Had they done more to help, we definitely wouldn’t have learnt as much as we have.
We also had some great leadership guidance from Simon Appleby. He gave us some great tips on decision-making and knowing when to stand your ground.
Along the way, we began to better anticipate when something might not go how we’d planned. We learned the important value of planning ahead and being more prepared for dealing with setbacks.
Our work ethic has developed a great deal. The mantra of “you get out what you put in” rang true with all of us; this is something we all experienced throughout the year.
We all know how much a place at the School means to someone who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford it; fundraising for a place gave us a real sense of just how much £10,000 really is. We were determined to make a good job of it and proud to have been given the special opportunity to do so.
We are really thankful to all the parents, students, staff and friends of the School who supported us along the way and, more importantly, who donated to the CHS Bursary Fund through our events and activities.
People like to see the results of their donations; they like to see what they are contributing to and the difference they are making.
A lot of parents spoke to us about paying a CHS education forward. They enjoyed being able to offer the same fantastic opportunities that their own children had experienced.
Whilst we didn’t quite meet Mr Tann’s challenge, we are extremely proud to have raised as much as we did. It was a rewarding learning experience; the skills we have all acquired in the process are really valuable as we move on to the next stage in our educational journey.