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Posted on 23rd May 2018
An orphanage in Greece is to be refurbished, thanks to the fundraising efforts of Stansted children.
Forest Hall School has supported the Smile of the Child charity for three years, with 28 students visiting the orphanage in Corfu over two trips.
The school made the link to enable students to help those less fortunate than themselves, as well as giving Stansted youngsters the opportunity to go abroad and experience another culture.
Year 11 student Isobel Clarke-Scholes is among those who have visited the orphanage. She said: “I feel really fortunate that I managed to spend time at the orphanage. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I am glad Forest Hall is continuing to raise money for such a whileworth cause.”
The school has so far raised more than £4,000 - from non-uniform days, a fashion show, cake sales, sponsored runs and swims, school fayres and car washing - to improve facilities at the orphanage, with plans to refurbish the only toilet block and other areas.
Co-head of school Hannah Jones said: “The experience of visiting the orphanage and meeting the children is life-changing. They have so much hope, even though they have faced challenges in their life.
“I feel honoured that Forest Hall is involved in such a worthwhile charity. The money that the school is raising will make a massive difference to the orphanage. They have a small toilet block for all 38 orphans – the money raised can help refurbish this and other areas of the orphanage.”
Parent Toni Roberts said: “I feel my daughter Sophie visiting the orphanage in Greece was a great experience for her as she got to see where the money that was fundraised actually went to and how it helped.
“It was good for her to see how different life is for children who do not have a family and how important it is that people support them. I’m sure it is an experience that Sophie will remember. I know she made friends with a lot of the children in Greece and will always remember them.”
In the autumn, a group of five orphans from Greece will visit the school and London on a five-day trip.
Stephen Hehir, executive principal, said: “It is extremely important that we develop well-rounded young people who understand the world around them.
“Visiting the orphanage has opened up their eyes to poverty experienced by people in Europe. It has enabled our students to develop empathy for others while also getting to experience a different culture and country and make new friends.
“I am proud of how hard the students have worked to raise money for this worthwhile charity.”