Gareth Sillifant (left) from HGS, Hannah Russell (Right) HGS and member of the fundraising team at HHCC (centre)
Gareth Sillifant (left) from HGS, Hannah Russell (Right) HGS and member of the fundraising team at HHCC (centre)

Harrogate Grammar School students raise more than £6,400 for local healthcare and Give a Child a Hope


Students at Harrogate Grammar School raised more than £6,400 in a year of fundraising which was severely hit by covid restrictions and closures.

The school’s Charities Committee continued to meet online during lockdown and came up with great event ideas to raise funds primarily for their chosen charity for 2020-2021, the Harrogate Hospital & Community Charity (HHCC), which funds specialised equipment, training and services which go above and beyond the provision of the NHS.

Charities Co-ordinator Mr Gareth Sillifant, who oversees the Charities Committee said:

The committee kept coming up with fundraising ideas – then when they fell through because of covid, they came back with alternative ideas. House representatives, led by Mrs Hannah Russell, also did a great job of addressing assemblies and helping us to secure the support of students across the school.

A silent auction of lots donated by local businesses attracted huge interest in the run-up to the end of term. Auction lots included artwork, meals and afternoon tea for two, cinema tickets, a beauty hamper and a golfing voucher. The total raised was just under £600.

In April, a five week ‘Race around North Yorkshire’ challenged all four school houses – Aqua, Ignis, Terra and Ventus – to clock up as many miles as possible, measured in laps of the footprint of North Yorkshire (405 miles). Students were sponsored to walk, run and cycle to reach their target distance, and between them they completed 8772 miles – 21.6 laps of North Yorkshire. Sam Dobson (Year 7) and Matilda Brennan (Year 9) together with Gareth Sillifant and Hannah Russell also spoke on BBC Radio York to publicise the fundraising drive. Other fundraising events included a non-uniform day, food bank donations, and a Euro 2020 football competition.

The links forged through fundraising efforts have also paved the way for HGS students to complete volunteering stints and work experience with the HHCC and the Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust. HHCC are also holding a Summer BBQ on 29th August – please see their website for further details.

Harrogate Grammar School will also make its annual £1,000 donation to one of its regular causes, Give a Child a Hope, which makes grants to support the provision of education, skills and health care to impoverished children in Uganda.

Headteacher, Neil Renton, said:

It’s fantastic that our efforts to benefit the local community continued during lockdown, and that’s largely due to students’ resilience and commitment to a very worthy cause. Thanks, too, to our dedicated staff and to students’ families and friends whose support allowed us to reach our impressive fundraising total.

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