A caring Sutton Coldfield sixth-former has enlisted the help of her school mates in a bid to raise £3,000 for a small local charity.
Each year sixth formers at Plantsbrook School, in Upper Holland Road, choose charities to benefit from their fund-raising activities.
And this year Sutton-based Cherished is set to benefit from a year of fund-raising, thanks to Annabella Kalavanas, aged 18, who is part of the school’s student leader team – and pupils have set an ambitious £3000 target.
“When I was 10 years old, Cherished came to my primary school and made a big impression on me” Annabella said, “I was inspired by the positive support from the group and how it helped young girls. I feel like I have grown up with Cherished and have always been involved in it.”
The award-winning charity, which is based in Boldmere Road, provides mentoring and activities for young girls, building their self-esteem and helping them reach their full potential.
“After Cherished helped me I started volunteering for them when I was 14, and now they employ me, part-time, to run their 11-13-year-old group,” Annabella said, “It’s really rewarding because the girls are just so happy when they are there.”
The whole school will be involved in the fund-raising led by the sixth form, with activities planned including a Year 7 disco, non-uniform days, sponsored sports events and a Great British Bake-off-style cake sale and competition.
“Charity work like this is an important part of sixth form life at Plantsbrook, as it helps the students develop leadership and organisational skills, as well as helping them learn more about the community,”
– Head of sixth form Lisa Proctor
Head of sixth form Lisa Proctor said: “Plantsbrook have linked up with Cherished before – their services have helped support girls in the school – so we’re very happy to be raising money for them.
“Charity work like this is an important part of sixth form life at Plantsbrook, as it helps the students develop leadership and organisational skills, as well as helping them learn more about the community.
“Usually we would ask someone from the charity to come in and tell everyone about what they do, to raise awareness of their work, but this year that will be a lot easier as we’ve got Annabella to do it!”
Cherished was founded in 2011 by local woman Hannah Simnett. It relies on a dedicated team of 70 volunteers and has delivered schemes and mentoring in 35 schools across the Midlands.
Hannah said: “It’s fantastic that Plantsbrook has chosen to support us in this way, because we have worked with so many girls there, who often then want to get involved and support us. Annabella is a great example of that – I first met her when she was ten-years old and now she’s helping others.”