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Markethill 
High School

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Year 10 Charity Event with The John Wilson Memorial Trust

Sometimes it's very difficult to put into words the impressive impact our pupils have and the event we are going to share can really only be fully appreciated by those members of staff who were fortunate to be present.


Let's set the scene - several weeks ago, Mr Berry asked Mr McClure if he would like to get his Year Group involved in 'The John Wilson Memorial Trust' School Charity Challenge which was established in memory of Mr Wilson, son of Ulster Carpets founder, George Walter Wilson, to build on his legacy of supporting the community. The aim of this particular school project is to connect with young people and help them to understand the important role that charities play in their community.


So off Mr McClure went to rally support and interest amongst his troops. Such was the phenomenal interest, he had over 40 young people super keen to get involved for a number of charities including The NI Cancer Fund for Children, The M.S Society & B Positive.


After much discussion, it was only fair to let all interested parties make their team pitch to Mr McClure & Mr Furphy who would then have the unenviable task of selecting the group who would represent MHS on February 26th.


Following each fantastic pitch and sincere justification, The Trussell Trust Group (more specifically Stepping Stones Pantry in Armagh) were nominated as our chosen charity.


For those not familiar with The Trussell Trust, the charity supports a nationwide network of food banks to provide emergency food and support to people facing hardship, and they campaign for change to end the need for food banks in the UK.


The charity challenge team consisted of Phoebe L, Maria R, Isaac McD, Autumn M, Alexis P, Natasha D, Callum A & Holly C and what a team they proved to be!


From the outset, they led their charge by contacting the lovely Glenda and George McMullan from the charity and in turn, the team started to build their presentation around the research they gleamed. One of our favourite memories will be of these eight brilliant young people meeting in our Principal's office, responding to emails and speaking to Glenda on speaker phone (in fact, Natasha really liked sitting in Mr Berry's chair!) like a board of company directors!


Our Year 10 dream team only had five weeks (yes, just five weeks!) to plan, create, improvise, perfect, agree and critique a project before making a final presentation to a panel of judges from the Trust outlining why their charity should receive £5,000 of funding.


The final concept of their presentation focused on the word 'CRISIS' (cause/reach/interaction/source/impact/solution) as well as an interactive cost of living comparison and some very personal anecdotes of success thanks to Stepping Stones Pantry thus far.


Mr McClure and Mrs Hargan alongside Glenda & George McMullan had the privilege of accompanying the team to the boardroom at Ulster Carpets and what a presentation our young people gave to the four panelists! It was exceptionally polished, immensely mature and genuinely heartfelt - it left us beaming with pride, and Glenda & George with tears in their eyes!


Although Team MHS were not the successful candidates on the day, they are winners in our eyes and the icing on the cake was securing £500 for Stepping Stones Pantry, all thanks to their superb efforts!


We wish to say a huge thank you to The John Wilson Memorial Trust and Ulster Carpets for this experience. It was a wonderful opportunity and we thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the Portadown Factory and the lovely hospitality as well. (A little video will follow soon!)


We would also like to sincerely thank Glenda & George, of Stepping Stones Pantry, who welcomed our young people, embraced this challenge and gave so freely of their time from the outset. They were so encouraging and enthusing and we know they will be lifelong friends of our MHS family.


A shout out also goes to Mr McClure, Head of Year 10, who poured his heart and soul into this project by affording his Year Group this wonderful opportunity whilst juggling many other demands in relation to school life. Thank you, JM!


On behalf of MHS, a huge 'well done & congratulations' to Phoebe, Maria, Isaac, Autumn, Alexis, Natasha, Callum & Holly. You are amazing ambassadors for MHS, Stepping Stones Pantry & your families. We are all very proud of you.



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