What is First Give?

Over the past five weeks local schools in Rhondda Cynon Taf have had the opportunity to engage with the First Give programme. The goal of the programme is to increase pupils engagement with local charities to improve their local communities while developing new skills.

Over the course of eight lessons the whole year group are invited to identify social issues within their local area and identify charities that help address them. Pupils are then encouraged to get in touch with the charity, to research their work and gain a better understanding of what they do and how they help. To compete for a chance of winning £1000 the pupils have to create presentations on their local charities to be delivered in front of their peers and a panel of judges.

Local schools

As a charity we were fortunate to be chosen by a group of pupils from two local schools Ferndale Community School and Mountain Ash Comprehensive school  alongside others worthy charities such as Merthyr and valleys MIND, LATCH, MENCAP, Samaritans and many more.

Our development manager, Emma Williams said

It was a pleasure to work closely with pupils from both schools on the First Give Programme. It is so inspiring to see pupils identifying local social issues and wanting to be part of making a positive change.

Presentations

As one of the chosen charities we were invited to attend the presentations. It was an honour to watch the different approaches each group used and watch the pupils overcome their nervousness and increase in confidence throughout their delivery. It was also inspiring to see how creative they both were, using poetry and dance to empathise the points made in their presentations.  

Results

Both groups did fantastic and faced tough opposition for the £1000 prize. We are please to announce that the group of pupils from Ferndale were overall winners for their school and secured the £1000 for our charity. This group of pupils also raised over £280 through their fundraising efforts in week leading up to the competition.

The overall winners at Mountain Ash Comprehensive were representing the charity Mencap. However pupils raised £263.19 for women's aid through their fundraising efforts such as a cake sale and tuck shop.

We are extremely thankful for all the effort made by pupils, teaching staff and the local community who donated their time, money and resources to make these fundraising efforts possible.

What next?

£700 of the money raised will be used to purchase personal attack and safety alarms for those we support. The remainder of the money will be used to provide fun and exciting activities for the children we support over the Summer holidays.

We hope to continue to develop the positive relationships between the schools, teaching staff and pupils that have developed from taking part in this programme and continue to tackle domestic abuse within local communities.