When I received an invitation to “an evening of competition and celebration” from First Give, a new organisation striving to “build a culture of giving”, I was struck by the similarity of their aims to those of business leaders in the corporate world, building a community and citizenship ethos.
I warmly welcomed the invitation from First Give to Lampton School Academy Trust in Hounslow for their “evening of competition and celebration”. I was keen to join the judging panel; we have all seen them on the various Saturday night talent shows – how much fun would it be? We listened to nine charity pitches given by groups of Year 10 students hoping to win the first prize of £1000 for their charity or second and third prizes of £250 each for their chosen cause. I was astounded at the level of maturity, commitment, effort, professionalism, creativity and passion these 14 and 15 year olds put into their presentations. As judges we scored knowledge, creativity and delivery. Most of the students bonded to their organisations and expressed an interest to continue supporting them. Their peers, parents, teachers and the charities themselves were all there to support their efforts, it was not so much, Dragon’s Den but Britian’s Got Talent!
The winners were:
There was so much to take away from the evening for everyone involved – pupils, charities and for us, the judges. First Give and Lampton School have created a culture of giving through the bonds they created between the school students and the charities, and have sown seeds for these students to become future business leaders with a strong sense of community engagement.
At The Cranfield Trust we benefit from a fantastic culture of giving through the 775 volunteers who have pledged their support. As the Trust grows we are looking at different ways for our volunteers to share their skills with charities that need them, alongside our established pro bono consultancy and HR advice activities. We are building our range of volunteering activities to include delivering and supporting masterclasses and workshops, supporting charity Chief Executives through mentoring or coaching relationships, and are developing some new volunteering ideas which we hope to release later this year. We’re keen to recruit 100 new volunteers to the Trust this year, to help us build our regional activities and to develop our current and new services providing much needed help to charities.
The Cranfield Trust is supporting First Give to build their programme, which currently works in approximately 60 schools in London and the South East. Each school is in touch with around 20 charities so we are delighted that First Give can help us to reach out to more charities. If you would be interested in representing The Cranfield Trust by volunteering as a judge at a First Give school event – one early evening event – please do contact us for more information.