Every year each house nominates a charity to support throughout the year.

These are the charities being supported in 2023/24.

Charity 2022-2023 Overview

Abbas: Hourglass

One in six older people are victims of abuse. That’s over 16% of our mothers, fathers, uncles, aunties, grannies, grandads, friends and neighbours.

The Hourglass mission is simple: end the harm, abuse and exploitation of older people in the UK.  By 2023, Hourglass aim to have a 24/7 helpline service across all four nations. Hourglass would like to make the abuse of older people socially unacceptable (just like child or animal abuse), they believe that older people deserve to feel safe at all times. 

Our House Committee created a presentation that went to the entire House. They collated information, media and supported to raise the profile of Hourglass and how the student population could help. 

Our first opportunity was Tour De TGS, whereby students and staff could cycle and record their time on the static bike. The committee had the role of decorating the bikes in house colours and motivated all to keep pedalling! We had a tremendous amount of interest, not only raising money but getting fit whilst we did it!

Abbas’ contribution to the Christmas Market was astounding. Whilst we had the committee team supporting us through baking, selling festive keyrings and an opportunity to win a Google Alexa, I was inspired to have other Abbas students put their name forward and be proud to support other events, following our TGS way of getting involved and being proud of that. We raised a staggering £185.00 as a house in just two lunchtimes!

Penny Wars, a classic, yet exciting fundraiser also saw the generosity of our student and staff community. 5 houses, 5 buckets. This spanned across the week and Abbas raised £73.67! However, the balance of silver and copper did impact on being the winning house. Nonetheless, I would like to thank all that could spare their change and support. 

I am really proud that next term we look to raise the profile of student leadership through charity as we are dedicating a team to support activities and take charge of events. I deem this a fantastic opportunity for students to develop their;  creativity, organisation and leadership qualities. The names will be revealed in the next Portrait magazine. 

We recognise that Hourglass provides a vital service to an ageing population with over 19% being over 65 and this abuse of older generations is largely unrecognised within our society. Hourglass is the only UK charity focused on the abuse and neglect of older people and they also offer a free-to-call helpline. This provides a safe space for anyone to seek help when at risk of abuse. If you would find out more and support, please visit https://wearehourglass.org/get-involved 

Mr J Oliver

Chamberlain: River Stour Trust

The River Stour Trust is led by volunteers dedicated to the restoration, conservation and education of the Suffolk & Essex River Stour Navigation for the benefit and enjoyment of the public.

We started the year fundraising for this charity with the Inter House Bike Challenge, the Tour De TGS, over a full week. Students jumped on the bikes and rode as many miles as they could before school, during break, lunch and afterschool. We also encouraged teachers to take part in the event.

In November students took part in the Children in Need baking competition. Students baked cakes based around the theme of Children in Need to help raise money for this charity.

Our Christmas Fayre stall of Luxury Hot Chocolate went down a storm, offering different flavours of hot chocolate with marshmallows and sprinkles. We also had students make cakes and biscuits to go with the hot chocolate on the very cold day we held the fayre.

In May Chamberlain took part in the Penny Wars competition. Students donated any spare change over a 2 week period to help our chosen charity.

I am immensely proud of all the Chamberlain students who took part in our charity events this year. It has enabled them to become creative, contribute to their local community, enhance their organisational skills and promote leadership within the house. I am hoping next year with our two committee members, Keavy Power and Luke Ruggles committed to running charity events, that we will raise even more money to our chosen charity and try to be creative with some new charity ideas and motive participation from all in the house.

Mrs E Jukes

Houghton: War Child

Children living in war torn countries face unimaginable futures. Many are torn from home and stranded at borders, without help, food, water, or knowing when they'll next reach a safe place to call home. Our teams are working around the clock in places like Ukraine, Yemen, and Afghanistan to get children the life-saving aid and psychological care they need, fast. 

We began our fundraising through the interhouse bike challenge and managed to jump on the bike as much as we could and clock up many miles whilst collecting your donations. We also raised a significant amount through the Christmas fayre.We have also managed to add to our total with the annual Secret Valentines event.

Mrs N Gilligan

Peyton: NSPCC

Everything we do protects children today and prevents abuse tomorrow, to transform society for every life. 

During October Peyton ran a Guess the number of sweets in the jar competition and we are running our annual smelly welly competition. 18 staff have volunteered to participate at the risk of being crowned the winner. Pupils (and staff!) have been voting  by placing money into the box of the member of staff they would like to see wear the smelly wellies filled with all sorts of loveliness. Watch this space for the winner and for the inevitable photos.

Mr W Ponsford

Tollemache: ERIC

ERIC is the national charity dedicated to improving children’s bowel and bladder health. Our mission is to reduce the impact of continence problems on children and their families.

All Houses got involved in the Cycling charity event this year which was run by Tollemache. Students and teachers took part before school, after school and during breaks and lunches. The aim was to cycle for as long as possible in one week, competing against the other Houses for the most amount of time pedalling on the bike. The contest was brilliant with all houses putting in a great effort as well as each House jazzing up their bikes with light, tinsel and flags. We raised over £200, So well done to all involved.

Mr B Richards

We love being festive at Christmas, and in December all five houses joined forces to undertake two charity events: one Christmas jumper non-uniform day and our annual Christmas Fayre. This saw each house host two stalls each; ranging from sweet cones and hot chocolates, to raffles and  purchasing Santa hats. This was, however, the first year in which the weather was so cold that we had to host the Christmas Fayre from the warmth of our assembly hall. In total, over £1,700 was raised, and the atmosphere was decidedly festive as we approached the last week of Autumn Term. 

This Spring Term students dug deep to find loose change to add to our Penny Wars. Any copper coins added to the competition total but silver coins (although raising more money for charity) were deducted from the competition total - which means several houses finished negative - but a great success for the charities.


What Other Charities Have Thomas Gainsborough School Fun-Raised For?

In addition to our house charity events, Thomas Gainsborough School runs whole-school events, which are largely organised by our own students for causes close to their hearts. 

In September, students donned their chef whites for the first cake-bake of the academic year. This was in aid of our first house competition - The European Day of Languages -themed cake, and an overwhelmingly large number of students donated their bakes to be sold off the following day. In fact, we had so many cakes donated that we held bake sales each break and lunch time for two days, until all the cakes were sold, with money raised going to MacMillan for their now infamous coffee mornings. We set a new school record of raising just over £320 for MacMillan, and we already can’t wait for the delicious treats on offer next year. 

Our second charity event of the year was “Wear it blue for Will Leonard,” a Sixth Form student who sadly lost his battle with Ependymmoma during last year’s  summer holiday. Will had been a popular member of the Thomas Gainsborough School community since year 7, and we have all admired his commitment to his studies, whilst fighting such a terrible disease. As blue was Will’s favourite colour, students in both lower school and Sixth Form wore blue and raised an incredible amount of nearly £1,600. To fundraise even further, the Sixth Form Head Students planned and delivered a fantastic staff quiz night in November, making this the third charity event of the year. The winning team were Science, congratulations to Science, but more important to winning was raising a further £311, which brought the total money raised for Fighting Ependymoma to almost £2,000. 

Our next charity event of the year was held in November, where our longstanding extra-curricular club, LGBTQ+ Allies, hosted a rainbow laces and cake sale. This allows students to purchase a pair of rainbow laces to wear in their school shoes for two weeks to support individuals from or bake a cake with a sports theme. Our LGBTQ+ Allies club meets weekly to provide a safe space for students to discuss any issues and look at areas where school can improve our inclusivity. The total amount raised was £417, and all money raised was split between Mermaids, a British charity and advocacy organisation that supports gender variant and transgender youth, and Stonewall, a LGBTQ+ rights charity in the UK.

Children in Need saw many fantastic Pudsey style cakes for sale - our students definitely like a cake sale as this raised over £200 - and we have some very talented bakers amongst us.

As the new year rang in, Spring Term saw us offer another non-uniform day, this time to raise money for ISCRE, a local charity promoting equality amongst diversity. This entire non-uniform day was organised by a group of year four 11 students, entering a national competition to raise awareness around the lack of legal legislation in reporting racism within the school environment. The theme was to dress as the colours of a flag of choice, and there were some very unusual colour combinations around school that day. Although our school’s team did not place in competition, they still raised over £1300, which is fantastic. 

Our final non-uniform day of the year was also undertaken by a year 11 student in order to fundraise for The Little Princess Trust. The theme for this non-uniform day was to dress as a princess, and the fancy-dress outfits of both students and staff did not disappoint! Once again, over £1300 was raised for this very worthy cause. 

Our final charity event will be Race for Life which will take place later in the year  in July. Currently, we have over 900 students who have signed up to be sponsored and raise money for Cancer Research UK. We also allow students to wear their PE kit, or alternatively a pink top, for the fee of £1, this once again, will boost the total amount raised. Last year, Mr Richards organised Race for Life, and raised a very, very, very impressive £20,000, and I know he has desires to beat that this year. We currently hold the record for being the top fundraising school, so if you can spare any change what-so-ever, please do bring it along on Race for Life day. 

At Thomas Gainsborough School, we are proud of doing things The TGS Way. Already for next academic year, I am receiving emails from students with charity events and non-uniform ideas; this includes our Sixth Form Head Students  who would love to host a Summer Fete for their own charity. Our Heads of Houses have had to expand their committees to incorporate two Charity Committee Members, as they have been so overwhelmed by applications to be on their committees, and sadly they could not honour all applications. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all students who have participated in any of our charity events this year, or donated money in one form or another. It is amazing to witness the kind and caring actions of our students day in, day out. With our new Charity Committee Members in place, I can not wait for another year of fundraising.

Thanks again, 

Miss Alston