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Choosing Citizenship as an exam option at St Augustine Academy is not an ‘easy’ option. As well as all the usual reading, research and essay writing that every other subject requires, Citizenship students complete a number of fundraising activities throughout the year. Over the last year, students have raised money for Mental Health Awareness, Marie Curie, Help for Heroes and Samaritans Purse.

This term, the year 10 students have been getting involved with the ‘Shoe Box Appeal’ which many charities, organisations and companies also take part in. The gift of a shoebox that contains toys, toiletries, educational items or household goods is a drop of happiness to the people of Eastern Europe and Africa  who live in a world of poverty. For many, it will be the first present that they have ever received and it lets them know that somebody, somewhere cares.

The students had undertaken a number of ‘challenges’ to raise money through sponsorship to enable them to purchase the contents of their shoe box that would be sent abroad to a family in need. They each had to raise a minimum of £10 per student per box and this proved a simple task for the students. A bike ride by 3 boys for an hour each on a static bike raised £131 whilst a 10k walk and ‘no internet’ for 24 hours brought in £115. Two days surviving on food to the value of £1 each day left a group of girls with £58 and a sponsored silence for 12 hours raised £35. Finally – and more extremely – two brothers had their heads shaved and were rewarded by sponsorship of £180.These sums of money were then used by the students to purchase a range of small items that would fit in the shoebox that they had decorated with Christmas wrapping paper.

Cameron Barrie, one of the bike riders, said that their one continuous hour of riding each was ‘enjoyable but also quite tiring. We want to thank everyone who made a donation to help us put a smile on the faces of those who are less fortunate than us this Christmas. Thank you to Mr Gibbs for giving us this opportunity.’ Mr Gibbs, our Citizenship teacher, then took the completed boxes to the Samaritan’s Purse warehouse in Ashford where they will be flown to the recipients’ countries. 

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