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In October 2018, the school set Year 8 and 9 students a truly international challenge. We needed new South African apprentices; new recruits who could join the Culcheth-2-Soweto project. Over 100 students turned up to the initial meetings and the excitement was high.

Since this point students, friends, families, next door neighbours and the whole community have been supporting their charitable work.  All students had one aim: to raise the required funds to pay for a visit of students and teachers from Matseliso High School. I am pleased to say that alongside the work of the older students and staff, we have nearly reached our target. All is still on track for a visit of 19 South African students and four teachers arriving on 9th July 2018.

While the whole project is a team effort, and would never be achieved without the full team, the following individual stories and events are truly amazing and deserve their own recognition. Over the next couple of months we would like to share some of these with you.

Victoria Bond 8H

Hello, my name is Victoria Bond I was inspired to join the Culcheth 2 Soweto team due to an older sibling’s extremely positive experience. Initially I found the fundraising very difficult because I struggled for ideas for how to make the money. I decided to join my friends on a onesie walk up Rivington Pike. Soon after that I started to think of ideas of my own. Overall I have raised £249 by doing a sponsored onesie walk, serving afternoon tea to Barclays client service team in Northwich and cleaning ridiculously messy rooms for my brother and sister. I found preparing the afternoon tea the most challenging because I had to make six dozen cakes in just two hours. Good job I love to bake!

Keira Sharples 8H

My name is Keira and I am a Culcheth-2-Soweto apprentice. I was first inspired to be an apprentice because of all the displays around school and everyone who had previously been part of it, had loved it! However, to begin with, I wasn’t really 100% sure what it all was and what you had to do. Consequently, I have been to every meeting and I know that it isn’t just about going to South Africa. It’s a lot of fundraising and it all goes towards a good cause of helping bring students over from South Africa. At the start, I found that the most challenging part was coming up with ideas that could be done and would help raise money towards my first fundraising target. After consideration, I realised that rain and the cold December weather was not the best time to start asking people if they wanted their car washing. However, after thinking of ideas that I thought had the potential to raise a lot of money I enjoyed organising them and gathering the supplies that I would need.

My first idea was to make festive hot chocolate stirrers as it was nearly Christmas. I decorated them with crushed candy canes and mini marshmallows, wrapped them in gift wrap, ribbon and labelled them “Christmas Eve Hot Chocolate Stirrers.” I thought this was a good idea because they could be sold and given as gifts.

Soon after, I circulated two football cards. I sold “teams” to family and friends. The idea was that there were 40 teams per card and you could buy one, or preferable more, teams for £2 each. Once the cards were filled, half the money earned was given as a prize to the winning team and the other half was given to the Culcheth-2-Soweto fund. I found that because it was quite a big prize, people were willing to buy some, and the cards filled up quickly.

At the start of February, I completed my third fundraiser with my friends. We did a sponsored onesie walk up Rivington pike. I set up a JustGiving page and made a sponsor form. This fundraiser was my biggest project as lots of people were very generous with donations to sponsor me and it didn’t cost anything to organise. However, this was also my favourite fundraiser so far as even though we had separate sponsor accounts, I enjoyed working as a team. Overall, I have loved every part about fundraising; coming up with the initial ideas, organising them, doing them and finally collecting the money to then be put into the school account.

Lauren Jesse 8H

Hello, my name is Lauren Jesse, my form is 8H and I am an apprentice to Culcheth-2-Soweto. I love being a part of Culcheth-2-Soweto because it makes me feel good about myself because I’m helping children from another country experience the way that we live. To raise funds, I wrapped presents for my family at Christmas; I think that I wrapped over 40 presents and I raised £30.
Then on the 4th February, me and my friend Issy Dean 8T did a three legged walk up Rivington Pike which was tough but we really enjoyed it. I am so happy that we managed to reach the top and I raised £121.

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