Last year, St John’s School in Leatherhead, Surrey kindly nominated South London and Maudsley Hospital (SLaM) as its charity of the year, and succeeded in raising more than £2,400. The school wanted the money raised to go towards supporting young patients with eating disorders.
Danielle Dixon, history teacher and head of Haslewood House, explains why. ‘One of the girls in our house had been treated by SLaM for an eating disorder and she felt that the staff at the hospital had helped her enormously. She wanted to give something back to the trust, and suggested that fundraising was a good way to support its work.’
Eating disorders are prevalent in teenage girls
She adds, ‘We are a girls’ house which teaches and looks after 13 to 18-year-olds and, unfortunately, eating disorders are very prevalent in this age group. ‘Mental health provision is seriously underfunded, yet many of the pupils who we deal with are dependent on it.’
The school put on a range of fundraising events, including holding a bake sale and running a tuck shop. The Haslewood pupils, parents and staff also got together to hold a summer fete. Fortunately, the weather was kind so they were able to fire up the barbecue and hold plenty of fun games, including ‘catch-the-water-balloon’!
Danielle says, ‘It was a really positive event. We hope that the money we raised can be used to help give more young people access to support for eating disorders and to raise awareness of the different disorders that young people deal with.’
If you’ve been inspired by St John’s School fundraising story and you would like to support the work of South London and Maudsley, we have lots of ideas to inspire you.