Yardley Court boys are encouraged to think and act in a socially responsible fashion at all times. Helping others less fortunate or in immediate need is just one feature of this important aspect of their education.
The whole Somerhill community is linked to the Kusasa Project through an ex-member of YC staff, Mme Berard-Spiers, and the Riordan family. The focus of the project is on improving educational opportunities for children in the Franschhoek Valley, South Africa. Staff visiting SA often take over boxes or suitcases of classroom equipment, as well as uniform and even puppets! The Kusasa Art Auction, featuring art work produced by the children of Somerhill, raised in excess of £30,000, enough for the purchase of a minibus to transport children from the townships to school. We thoroughly enjoy visits from ‘Muma J’ (Mme Spiers) and the guests she brings with her. These are usually pupils who have benefitted from an education provided by Kusasa, and it is always very thought-provoking to hear about their lives compared to our own.
The Somerhill Swimathon, Comic Relief and Friday Cake Sales
There is a very broad range of other charities that the boys at Yardley Court support in a number of ways. The Schools at Somerhill annual 24-hour swimathon is a regular feature of the Lent term calendar. The YC boys join DL girls, SPP children, Somerhill staff and parents in a non-stop swimming event that raises several thousands of pounds each year for cancer charities.
Comic Relief is supported eagerly by pupils at Somerhill. The boys thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to show off their (often previously hidden) talents; not just singing, but comedy acts, magic shows, acrobatics, instrumental performances, impressions – the list is endless! This huge fundraising event every other year is always a fun day and donations come flooding in, reflecting the appreciation of the pupils’ talents and enthusiasm for supporting a great cause.
Cake Sales are a highlight of every Friday morning. Forms take it in turns to bring in goodies that are sold at morning break to boys eager for a calorific Friday boost! Cake sales are a wonderful way for forms to raise money for charities of their choice. The boys discuss suggestions and vote on the charity to which they wish to donate the funds that they raise. These might be small local charities or larger-scale national appeals. Often the boys will respond to a recent visit from a representative of a particular organisation, such as Guide Dogs for the Blind, Great Ormond Street Hospital, or Hospice in the Weald.
Year Eight plan and run their own Leavers’ Stalls at the Somerhill Summer Fair, once again raising money for their chosen charity.