On Tuesday 20th June Miss Baker and the Hellesdon SHIELD team organised a whole-school donation to The Peoples’ Picnic, a Norwich food bank which meets twice a week at the Haymarket in Norwich.
Our plan was to raise awareness at Hellesdon High School of the work The Peoples’ Picnic achieve in Norwich via a video we made and posted to the HHS Facebook page. We also showed the footage in tutor times with a plea for donations from students and staff.
After school on Tuesday, some younger SHIELD pupils prepared a range of sandwiches to take to The Peoples’ Picnic. Pupils threw themselves enthusiastically into the challenge!
When we’d researched homelessness in Norwich prior to our trip we’d been shocked by the high numbers of people who use this foodbank for both hot meals and supplies (clothes, sleeping bags and dried foods) but nothing could have prepared us for what we encountered. There was a huge crowd of people when we arrived at 8pm and the atmosphere was excited and very noisy.
The sixth form students who accompanied Miss Baker to deliver the sandwiches and tinned goods to the homeless and vulnerable were invited to meet the crowd, distributing bottles of water and flavoured drinks to those queuing.
The sandwiches we made went within ten minutes and our bags of donations were sorted by the volunteers at The People’s Picnic to be given to those most in need.
Speaking after their experience, the sixth form students praised the volunteers who organise the twice weekly food banks. Georgia Leeds said “I spoke to one man who told me the food we supplied will go far. I found that really touching.” Scott Palframan expressed surprise at how many people there were using the facilities, “I was shocked at how busy it was there this evening. It shows you what a great need there is in Norwich”.
English teacher Miss Baker said “It was profoundly moving to see so many people of all different ages and walks of life coming together and using this service. The Peoples’ Picnic organisers are absolute heroes and clearly care deeply about the people they are supporting. Hellesdon’s SHIELD team are proud to support such a worthy and vital cause.”
One of our SHIELD members, Grace, perfectly demonstrated the values of our group over the Easter holiday when she assisted a stranger in need…
“During Easter, I was returning home from a visit to my gran’s house. At a crossing in Hellesdon I saw a lady waiting to cross the road who was hearing and visually impaired.
Luckily I’ve recently had training on Braille and I had a Braille sheet in my bag. I was able to help the lady by guiding her gently on my arm.
The lady was so pleased, she tried to offer me a present but I refused. I don’t want any reward, it’s just nice to be nice.”
Well done Grace! That’s the spirit of SHIELD!
Disclaimer: Please be safe and don’t talk to strangers if you are on your own or in a secluded location. Always make sure someone knows where you are and never go inside a stranger’s house, even if they seem nice! Your safety is very important.
Our SHIELD logo is finished, fabulous and ready to be circulated for the world to see! Designed by Kyra Cornish, one of our talented pupils and a SHIELD member, the SHIELD judging panel chose her design over other brilliant entries for its powerful message.
Firstly, we have the person with the globe for a head to reflect our commitment to making our local and global community a more loving, supportive place.
Secondly, we have the figure in LGBTQ+ colours who symbolises our respect and equal acceptance for everyone in our school, regardless of their sexuality or gender identity.
Thirdly, we have the black figure which is open to interpretation: maybe they represent our pupils who are from ethnic minorities or maybe they are a figurehead for mental health?
Most important, we have our equality symbol = We all deserve equal respect, kindness and support.
We hope you like our new logo as much as we do!
Last year, Miss Baker attended a training day in London run by the LGBTQ charity Stonewall about making Hellesdon pupils feel valued and supported, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation or gender identity.
There are as many young people who identify at LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Questioning) in the United Kingdom as there are left-handed people, according to a recent survey by the LGBT Foundation.
SHIELD decided we should work towards making the HHS school environment feel like a more inclusive place for our LGBTQ students.
We made posters to display in subject departments around the school of LGBTQ academic heroes and celebrities.
We also asked our lovely librarian, Mrs Skeggs to order books for KS3 and KS4 pupils which feature storylines, characters or themes which affect LGBTQ young people.
We hope and expect all our pupils, regardless of their sexual orientation to respect and tolerate each other and include our LGBTQ pupils and colleagues.