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Charity begins at home? – Wednesday 4th November 2015 – Ballard School – Headmaster’s blog

November 4, 2015

Charity begins at home?

A lot of media time and newsprint has been expended recently on the failed charity, ‘Kids Company’. The on-going parliamentary enquiry by the Public Accounts’ Committee is focusing on the money given to the charity by the Government with the additional investigation concerning whether it was afforded special treatment. This argument jarred with the latest (and final) edition of BBC’s unsolved cases’ drama, ‘New Tricks’, which focused on a (fictional) charity in London (‘Madhouse’) which sought to help those with mental health problems. This particular charity was adamant that it didn’t want Government funds so that it could remain free from ‘interference’ and, moreover, so that those who benefitted from its help would feel more of a sense of ownership and responsibility.

At a recent whole-school assembly, we celebrated charitable support raised this term across a range of good causes. I can’t say how much Government help these particular charities receive (if any at all) but what I can say with certainty is that the money fundraised through the endeavours of Ballard School families, staff and pupils was very much in the ‘self-help’ category and us such brings much satisfaction and a feeling of a ‘job well done’. Particular charities we have helped recently have been Naomi House children’s hospice (through a cake sale, special dinner and auction), the New Forest Basics’ Bank (via our Harvest festival), Toilet Twinning (by raising funds on a home clothes’ day), Oakhaven Hospice (with the up-coming Santa Dash), the Southampton Action Group (clothes for refugees) and, under way currently, Samaritan’s Purse (the operation Christmas child shoeboxes).

Ballard School provide clothes for the Southampton Action Group in September 2015

Ballard School provide clothes for the Southampton Action Group in September 2015

We are very grateful for the support given to us (and these charities) and are aware that many families are already heavily involved in their own fundraising and giving. Nonetheless, one of our core values at Ballard is ‘to respond to the wider needs of society through community projects, charitable fundraising and outreach and by increasing awareness of local, national and world issues’ and long may this continue.

Alastair Reid (Headmaster)

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