“Learning about community at school is a vital skill for life”

By Rafi Mauro-Benady

A secondary school has enrolled its students on a programme designed to kick-start its pupils’ social conscience.

The First Give Programme is a charitable scheme designed to encourage students to be more aware of social issues in their communities.

Lambeth Academy in Elms Road, Clapham Common has signed up all 170 of its Year 9 pupils to the eight-week scheme which is taught during life skills lessons.

Across the two months, students work for charities and then present their work with other groups to the board of First Give, including director Louisa Searle.

The winning group gets a £1,000 grant for a charity of their choosing.

Student, Mara Ferreira, 14, took part in the programme. She said: “It’s really helpful, it brings awareness to the younger generation, especially our year group, we

got involved in raising money, creating stalls.

“We had a lot of assemblies with our head of year and it made everyone come into one big group and actually bring awareness to each other about how the young generation is and we developed community in our school.”

Mara’s group’s charity of choice was Art Against Knives, a Bloomsbury-based charity that tries to prevent young people from becoming victims or perpetrators of
violent crime.

She said one thing that stood out to her was that the charity uses “animated films to share first aid help for knife attacks,” and she learnt how to save a life should she ever come across a knife crime victim.

Beatrice Cardoso, 15, is one of Mara’s peers at Lambeth Academy and she also took part in the First Give programme. She said: “I think that the First Give programme made our school and our community a lot more joined together, we were more united and we learnt a lot of things about ourselves and the community in general.”

She said: “The best part and the part that I most enjoyed was being with my peers and working together to raise money for charities to make a difference for people’s lives.”

She added that the First Give programme is a great use of life skills lessons. She said: “It’s more interactive than your typical life skills lessons.”

Pictured top: Some of the students on the First Give programme at Lambeth Academy

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