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Marlwood School

Our First Give final - encouraging social change

Year 8 students from Marlwood School have been taking part in the First Give programme which is designed to inspire social action in young people while also providing support to charities.

For two terms the students learnt about important issues in the local community and the charities which work to combat those issues. The students then raised money for and awareness of these charities by organising and hosting a raffle, bake sale, film screening and a staff baby picture competition.

Charities to benefit from these efforts included Great Western Air Ambulance Charity, Made a Mark, St Peter’s Hospice and Brain Tumour Support. Students met with the organisations either in-person or virtually to find out more about what the funds would be used for.

The school hosted its First Give final where groups of students, each representing a different charity, presented to the whole year group, staff members and invited judges, for a chance to win a £1000 cheque for their charity.

Congratulations to the winning group, which was St Peter’s Hospice.

Our PSHE coordinator, Laura Payne, said: “FirstGive has been a fantastic experience for our Year 8 pupils. It inspires and empowers young people to take action and make positive social change.

“From choosing the issues that are important to them, to planning and delivering social action activities and finally learning vital public speaking skills to deliver creative and informative presentations about their chosen charities, the programme provides life skills which will benefit the pupils in their future.

“We are delighted with the money raised for all the local causes as well as the £1000 grant from First Give for St Peter’s Hospice.”

One member of the winning team said, “I think First Give has been a great opportunity for everyone. Not only does it give the students participating a chance to help local charities but it also allows the other people in the school to learn about what the charities do and why they are vital to our community. I have thoroughly enjoyed First Give and am proud of the work we all did to help.”

Marlwood Headteacher Seema Purewal praises all the participants for their efforts and their confidence in learning to develop their public speaking skills. “We need to give our young people the skills to voice the causes that they are passionate about. We will certainly be running this worthwhile event next year.”

First Give is a charity working in partnership with schools to deliver an innovative and interactive programme. For more information visit