Staff and pupils at Solihull School have been generous in their giving, fundraising and collecting to provide much needed support to SIFA Fireside.
Building on its long-standing relationship with the charity organisation, the leading 3-18 independent co-educational day school has recently undertaken several initiatives to support Birmingham’s homeless community.
At the end of last term, Upper Sixth student and SIFA Fireside Ambassador Kitty O’Sullivan organised a ‘nearly new’ clothes drop off, recycling the items donated for resale and raising over £6,000; an additional £1,600 was collected through monies paid for pupils and staff participating in a Non-School Uniform Day, and a van full of food and other provisions donated for the Harvest Festival were delivered to Digbeth for the SIFA Fireside food bank.
The most recent Solihull campaign for SIFA Fireside saw 69 Fourth Form pupils and 15 staff take part in a ‘sleep out’, giving up their beds to spend the night on cardboard under the stars on the school’s Warwick Road campus. The evening of serious contemplation, organised by Mrs Graham, included a debate and an individual reflective writing task. Ms Dignon, Head of Community Relations at Solihull said: ‘During discussions, we all agreed that the novelty element of sleeping outside with friends quickly wore off as the ground was uncomfortable and the temperature dropped. By ‘sleeping out’, the pupils gained a small insight into what it might be like to sleep on the street night after night. We are proud of all the participants, and thank those who sponsored us, raising over £5,000 for SIFA Fireside.’
Melissa Roche, Head of Fundraising Volunteering and Communications at SIFA Fireside, visited Solihull at the end of term to present to pupils during a Community Relations themed assembly. Melissa commented: ‘I was delighted to be invited back to Solihull to speak about the work we undertake at SIFA Fireside, and to highlight the importance of self-education on the circumstances around homelessness as well as the need to be kind and compassionate. We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the school
community and are extremely thankful for its on-going support.’