Portsmouth High School’s outgoing Head Girl team presented a cheque for £10,150.48 to Miss Veronica Dunne, Chair, Friends Without Borders.
‘We were so pleased to raise this amount as Friends Without Borders is such an amazing charity in our local area,’ said Head Girl Annalee Macfarlane, 18. ‘As a year group we worked so hard to put on a set of successful events throughout the year, despite much of it being affected by Covid-19 restrictions. Our motivation was always to raise as much money as we could for such a worthwhile cause as well as engaging the whole school in activities and providing so much excitement and fun after a hard couple of years.’
Friends Without Borders is a charity that provides support for asylum seekers, refugees and vulnerable migrants within the Portsmouth area. There are two main projects both of which are run from All Saints Church on Commercial Road in Portsmouth.
Firstly, the All Saints drop-in runs currently on Thursdays, providing support, problem solving and socialising opportunities for those who attend. This service aims to reduce isolation and social exclusion by enabling clients to negotiate bureaucratic systems which they may not understand and to build networks, both professional and personal.
Secondly, the Access to Justice project provides free legal advice on immigration law from qualified advisers in the Portsmouth area.
The majority of the amount of just over £10,000 was raised during Charity Week which takes place each November. The culmination of Charity Week is a two night Fashion Show run entirely by the Sixth Form.
The theme this year was music icons and the pupils devised their own choreography for the walks and dances, hosted the event and encouraged donations to Friends Without Borders. Walks included beautiful dresses from Mousetrap, new fashion from Folio and Bored of Southsea plus a range of other local shops. The staff joined in the fun and put together a walk based on popular classics.
Charity Week at Portsmouth High School has been running for over 25 years and is always organised entirely by the Sixth Form. Led by the Head Girl Team, the girls use business acumen and entrepreneurial skills to negotiate with local shops and liaise with local businesses to put on the show. It was a glittering success and raised thousands of pounds for the girls’ chosen charity, Friends Without Borders.
Miss Dunne from Friends Without Borders was accompanied by Trustee Sharon Brooks. Miss Dunne said:
‘I was totally blown away when I was told how much the girls had raised. What amazing people they are to have so much empathy and understanding at such young ages. They will go far in society with these tremendous attributes and we are truly grateful to them for choosing our charity to support.’
Miss Dunne was accompanied by Trustee, Miss Sharon Brooks, who added:
‘This amount of money will keep our drop-in sessions open for a whole year. We are so grateful to these young women.’
Head of Sixth Form, Mrs Katie Wood, added:
‘Our Head Girl Team have worked tirelessly throughout the year to raise an incredible amount of money for Friends Without Borders. They have been totally inclusive, creating opportunities for the whole school to get behind their efforts. They have encountered so much disruption and uncertainty over the last couple of years, but it is typical of them to continue to put others first, and to overcome every obstacle in order to hit the hugely ambitious target they set themselves. We are very proud of them.’