The 2019 Vandyke Upper School ‘Smile Malawi Charity Week’ was, once again, a huge success with over £3000 being raised in an action packed week. The Senior Student Team successfully led a huge number of Sixth Form students to organise and run an eclectic mix of fundraising activities. As well as being great fun, they served to raise the awareness of the whole school community to the plight of ‘street kids’ in Malawi. The Sixth Form at Vandyke has supported the charity ‘Smile Malawi’ for over ten years, raising over £25,000 to help build and develop an orphanage and school for street kids from the capital Blantyre, providing them with the personal, educational and emotional care and support they need to recover from their traumatic experiences.
There was a fancy dress theme for each day starting with ‘Meme Monday’ and finishing with ‘Film Star Friday’! Lunchtime activities included a memorable ‘I’m a Teacher Get Me Out of Here’ and a hilarious Sixth Form ‘Take Me Out’. Friday saw the now customary Vandyke’s Got Talent where the Vandyke Staff Dance Troupe produced a ‘show stopping’ version of “Dance Monkey”, which on the ‘clapometer’ at least, had the edge on the Sixth Form Dance Troupe’s mash-up of much loved hits. Neither could compete, however, with Sixth Form students Phoebe Hanley and Tia Halliwell, who produced a beautiful performance of an original song that brought the house down to claim the coveted title. Other big money raisers were the Krispy Kreme Donut Day and the Staff Celebrity Football Match that introduced us to the ‘other side’ of the much-loved Mr Collier; referee Mr Downey being forced to pull the red card from his pocket to dismiss him for persistent infringement! A brilliant week was enjoyed by all!
Director of Sixth Form, Mr Downey, was delighted with the achievements of the Sixth Form students. “They worked so hard, planned so well and delivered some excellent fundraising events. To raise such a large amount of money in such a short period of time is a fantastic achievement. We are really proud of all of them.” He also paid tribute to the large number of staff who joined in throughout the week. “It was a really great to see so many staff who were willing to contribute in all sorts of ways. It was a special atmosphere, staff and students having fun together, raising money for a very important cause and reflecting on important world issues. Just a truly great week and one which epitomised the huge strengths of our school community.”