Charity of the Year

The children's council asked classes to vote on this year’s charity. Although a close vote, the winner was East to West, a charity who bring hope and joy to children in Richmond, Surrey and Berkshire who live in difficult circumstances. The four shortlisted charities would all have been worthy winners, each sharing in our values and being local to our school.

We look forward to sharing in a number of events this year to raise money and awareness for this charity and hope to welcome someone from East to West to come and talk to the children soon. More information on this charity can be found here.

A letter to our school from East to West - July 2022

East to West was founded 25 years ago to bring hope to young lives. Over that time we’ve worked with nearly 35,000 children, young people and families. To put that into context, that’s twice as many people as fit into Brentford’s new football ground!

Every year our team work across 30 different primary and secondary schools (and one hospital) helping children and young people who are finding life difficult. This can be anything from feeling angry, upset or worried, to difficulties with their friends and families. If you can think of any things that you find difficult, our team are in schools to help support others facing the same challenges. In some cases, our team work with small groups, but often they are able to meet with, and talk to people in a one to one setting – a face to face conversation.

We call what we do Relational Support Work, because we build relationships first – it’s really important that if you’ve got something difficult going on in your life, you feel safe and comfortable with the person you’re talking to. Using this positive relationship, east to west can support children and young people with whatever is going on. Sometimes it’s talking, but we also use videos, games and activities to help those we support to better understand and face the challenges they’re experiencing.

Often, we can help those we work with feel better, overcome the challenges they face or resolve what’s happening. But, sadly for some children and young people we work with, they have to live with their difficult situation, because it won’t get better. Because relationships are so important to us, we keep working with, and supporting them for as long as they need us to. This means that they can learn the skills they need to cope with what’s happening and build resilience, knowing they’ve always got someone they can talk to.

For some of you in Year 6, you may have the opportunity to meet an east to west worker in your new school (they are very nice!). We have team working at Teddington, Twickenham and Hampton High secondary schools, so if you’re going to one of these, go and say hello! They’d love to say hello back and who knows, they may even be able to help you one day (especially in the early days as you find your way to your new classrooms!)

Your kindness in choosing east to west to be your charity of the year means that we’re able to help continue supporting those children and young people we work with. Children who you may never see, or meet are getting the help and support they need because of you and your help and support. On their behalf, we’d like to say a massive thank you.