Philanthropy in Schools helps students to learn about making a positive contribution

Ormiston Chadwick Academy (OCA) recently delivered the Big Give’s Philanthropy in Schools programme as part of its ‘Making a Positive Contribution Day’. All students were involved in different activities designed to develop their soft skills and to help them understand the benefits of helping other people and their communities. The Big Give was delighted to have all Year 8 students take part in the Philanthropy in Schools programme as part of such an engaging day for the whole school.

Some Year 10 students supported the groups of younger students which offered an excellent opportunity for them to develop their leadership skills, and a few volunteers volunteered to record the day to create a thank you video for the day’s Sponsor.*

To begin the day, the students were given the opportunity to browse the Big Give website and donate an individual voucher of £5 to a charity of their choice. They particularly enjoyed the autonomy of this exercise and felt a great responsibility to donate to a worthwhile cause.

Following this activity, the Year 8’s were divided into ten groups and were each tasked with choosing a charity to present to their peers and the judging panel at the end of the day. The students dedicated a large amount of time to researching their chosen charities in order to demonstrate a detailed understanding of the charity’s aims and why it was worthy of the audience’s attention. Posters, leaflets and even some homemade charity badges were created to convey the students’ passion for their causes.

Two members of the Big Give team visited OCA to meet the students and hear their presentations. Rachel Earnshaw, the Charity Relationship Manager, commented, “It was fantastic to see the students preparing and delivering their pitches. We were particularly impressed with the winning team who presented a case for the charity Tree of Hope. This group opened their presentation with a role play on the meaning of philanthropy and incorporated both the charity’s and donors’ perspectives, with a compelling argument on the valuable work of the organisation.”

Tree of Hope  supports families of sick and disabled children in the UK who need specialist medical surgery, treatment and therapy. The runner-ups’ charities were World Child Cancer, Be Child Cancer Aware and the RSPCA.

Philanthropy in Schools is a fantastic way to engage children in intelligent giving as well as offering students the opportunity to develop key skills such as negotiation, decision-making, information collection and analysis, writing a persuasive argument, presentation and teamwork. We are particularly grateful to Jane Hulton-Harrop who kindly sponsored this day.

To find out more about running the programme in your school, or if you are interested in sponsoring a programme, please get in touch at

*Philanthropy in Schools works with a Sponsor who provides the donation funds for students. We are very grateful to these generous Sponsors for making the programme possible.