On Friday 15th April 2016, 10 pupils and 2 staff from Archbishop Holgate’s School headed on an expedition to Cape Town as ambassadors of both their school and the diocese. This is the sixth such visit undertaken by a group from Archbishop’s and is a fruit of the schools ongoing relationship with institutions and individuals in the Diocese of Cape Town since 2004.
Whilst their peers in Year 10 will be based in shops, businesses and schools undertaking two weeks of Work Experience, these pupils are participating in an expedition of a lifetime to South Africa, inspired by the link between the Diocese of York and the Diocese of Cape Town.
They took with them ten additional suit cases filled with a wide selection of donated items. These included; baby and toddler clothes, writing equipment, new soft toys, hand-knitted bears and blankets, over 300 World Book Day books, second-hand football boots and football kit. Some of these items were donated following an appeal in the York Press and others came from parents, teachers and local churches. They are destined to be distributed to a variety of township based projects. It is estimated that the group have taken over 250KG of donated items in the additional cases and in their own luggage.
In advance of their visit, the students have been doing various fundraising events. Therefore, they are also taking with them over £1,000 which they have raised over the last year through bag packing, a quiz night and African themed fundraising lunch. This money will pay for the materials needed for the projects the group are going to be working on and to support the general day to day work of the charities.
Richard Nihill, RE Teacher and Lay Chaplain at Archbishop Holgate’s, said: “Our visit always has a threefold dimension to it. There is the educational element; visiting Robben Island and Table Mountain, as well as other places. There is the extensive community service element through the volunteering work we undertake and finally there is element of engagement with local people through home stay with a local church and a school, attending youth events and working alongside the local people.”
All the students who are going on the expedition previously completed the Archbishop of York’s Young Leaders Award and this has inspired them to continue to “be the change they want to see”. To attain the Archbishop’s Young Leader Award, all students must complete a mix of both classroom and practical work which is focused on leadership skills and making a difference in local communities.
“I am sure that these two weeks are going to leave a huge impression on the young people and be an unforgettable experience” said Richard Nihill.
The group will be ‘tweeting’ while they are in Cape Town. If you wish to follow the progress of their expedition then follow @AHSChaplaincy on Twitter.