All staff at Longdendale High School firmly believe that engaging young people in charitable work through volunteering, gives those involved a valuable, first hand insight into the positive impact that altruism can have on a charity, and ultimately become more passionate advocates for charitable causes.

Part of that programme saw a group of year 9 Students get together to plan a series of fundraising events to raise funds in support of Reuben’s Retreat. All the students involved were 100% committed to the cause and worked extremely hard to come up with creative ways of raising money.

Some of the students fundraised by contacting local businesses to donate things that they could then raffle or sell. This involved appealing to local firms, explaining their aims and as a result managed to secure donations from them; these included: the donation of a family tour ticket from Manchester City, and Cake and Cream Eggs donated by Morrison’s.

Other students ran a very successful refreshments stall during a recent dance production and a larger number of students worked on a rota basis to sell Reuben’s Retreat merchandise around school.

Overall they raised £236, which will pay for a family with a terminally ill child to have a week’s holiday together, and have the opportunity to make happy memories. On the 3rd May, 2018, the students were invited to visit Reuben’s Retreat, where they proudly presented the money that they had raised.

Mrs Parker, who mentored the group involved, said, “The students quickly recognised what it meant to be a part of Reuben’s journey, and explored every avenue that they could to fundraise, so that people in their community could benefit from the retreat – and for that we say a big well done to all involved”

In addition to the money that they raised, the students also decorated rocks with positive messages which they hid around Howard Park in Glossop. Cleverly, the students added the text code so that the public can also donate to Reuben’s Retreat.

Reuben’s Retreat is a charity which was born in memory of Reuben Michael Graham who tragically passed away aged 23 months.

The primary goal of Reuben’s Retreat is to create a sanctuary that will be a home-from-home for families coping with the serious illness of a child, providing respite breaks and the chance to build happy memories.

On behalf of the student group, they asked if they say a huge thank you to all the staff that supported and gave up time and kindly provided resources, and a big ‘thank you’ to everyone that bought a raffle ticket, badge, band, cake or just offered the students some support.

One student said: “We learned so much from undertaking this project and have gained skills to help prepare us for the future through planning the events. Without working as a team we wouldn’t have been able to raise an impressive amount of money and we are all delighted our hard work has paid off.