Shrewsbury School

Salopian Kindness and Fundraising Excellence

Friday 20 November 2020

An update from Mr Giles Bell on Salopian fundraising and charitable events.

It has not been a good time for buskers of late! Is anyone carrying cash around with them?  At least if you do happen to be doing some essential shopping and you come across a hopeful busker you can throw money at them from a distance. Luckily Harry W, who is in the 5th form and in Radbrook, has been ‘well educated’ and had worked out that if one was to raise money for charity by busking, it would be good to do it before the second lockdown. I caught up with him and sat nearer enough to catch his thoughts on busking and nothing more sinister!

Harry is a keen singer and has ambitions to be a solo artist in the future. That said he is currently part of a duo with a friend of his called Liana. He has been moved by the work of the NHS during the pandemic and wanted to show his support for the people who have been risking their lives and working hard for us all. It didn’t take him long to work out that he could practice his singing and raise money at the same time. “It wasn’t exactly a Eureka moment just an obvious thing to do” Harry told me. So, he and Liana spent several days busking for up to four hours at a time in the Shrewsbury market square and on Pride Hill. They sang covers of numerous songs and some of his favourites included ‘When I look at you’ by Mylee Cyrus, ‘Say Something’ by Christian Aguilera and ‘Stuck with you’ by Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber which funnily enough is a song my wife sings to me on a regular basis.  Harry does write his own material too but had decided as part of his fund-raising drive not to unleash it on the ‘paying public’.

Harry was amazed by the generosity of people. The first woman to give was a homeless woman and she stayed for the entire event. Harry wondered if this might have something to do with her loneliness rather than just an appreciation of his music. At one moment a crowd of around 30 people held up their phone lights and that gave Harry areal lift. ‘Despite the cold it was a really enjoyable thing to do and raising over £500 for Children in Need and the Friends of the Hospital gave me a real sense of achievement and self-worth.’  Harry agreed this feeling can best be described as a happy surge! His one final piece of advice was ‘have a go, you will be amazed what you can achieve!’ I might just add that Harry and Liana ended up being interviewed by Radio Shropshire and I sense they are well on their way to superstardom.

Talking of superstars, another person who has been raising money is Imogen V who is in the 4th form in the Grove. She raised over £800 for the Little Princess Trust, a charity which provides free real hair wigs to children and young people, up to 24 years, who have lost their own hair through cancer treatment or other conditions. Not only did Imogen raise lots of money, she also donated her own hair. She did have lots of her own hair as she was keen to tell me. “I have lots of my own hair Mr Bell” she said. She then informed me that even after a radical haircut, she would still have more than me. Going to the barbers is something I get very excited about as it is a fairly infrequent event in my life. I wondered what it had been like for Imogen. She told me that everyone in the Salon she went to made a real fuss of her especially when she explained what she was up to. I sensed that all the hairdressers were keen to work on Imogen and other customers may have had to do their own hair that day! Imogen admitted that she too had a happy surge when she realised how much money she had raised, and she was awarded a badge by the charity. “I got a real buzz from hearing my phone vibrate as yet another sponsor signed up to donate” she exclaimed.

Freddie Norval is in the upper 6th in Radbrook and over half term he embarked on a 24-hour marathon gaming session. We are not talking football or cricket here. Freddie took on the challenge of Xbox to raise money for MacMillan Cancer Support. I asked Freddie how he had found the experience. “I played on Xbox whilst my friend was using his computer. We played mostly Battle Royale games and Rocket League, which is a game that involves cars playing football. My most successful game was Warzone, which is Call of Duty's take on a Battle Royale mode, where 100 players are dropped into an arena and must find weapons around the place and fight to be the last man standing. These games became highly competitive and were therefore very difficult to play in the last few hours due to fatigue.

Playing for 24 hours without a break was undeniably difficult, although the after effects were nowhere near what I thought they would be. Throughout the 24 hours, I stayed hydrated and well fed, and felt no pain in my wrists or hands in the end, just very tired within the last few hours. After I had finished, I slept until the next day and was fine from then on out, with no lasting negative effects. In the end, we managed to raise £335 and I would absolutely do it again considering how I felt compared to how much money we raised.” I like the idea of cars playing football and I am delighted to hear that Freddie managed to stay well hydrated and fed during his marathon gaming session! It does in my mind conjure up images of pizza boxes and large cokes, but I am sure that was not the case for Freddie and his friend.

Five fabulous school artists have designed some amazingly unique and awesome cards for you to buy on behalf of the Shrewsbury Food Hub. Jennifer H, Nell W, Ruby R, Elsa Wand Kaitlyn O.  Here is the link if you would like to donate or purchase the cards. https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/ShrewsburySchoolArtists

It will be easier for us to send cards home with your offspring so please liaise with them! If that is not possible please email Giles Bell gjfb@shrewsbury.org.uk and he will make sure you receive them.

You can also support the Ingram’s House Iron Man challenge in aid of Justice defenders which will be taking place next weekend.

Mr Giles Bell

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