During the past few months Durrington High School have been doing all they can to help the local community in these difficult and challenging times. During the Easter holidays they launched a charity campaign, DHS4NHS, to raise money for Worthing Hospital. Over the course of 7 weeks the school community completed 5km or 500 challenges which ranged from running or cycling 5km to doing 500 sit ups, trampoline bounces and yoga moves! The school social media accounts were buzzing with celebratory photos of the challenges and, most importantly, the donations came rolling in. The combined efforts and generosity of the staff, students and their friends and families raised an amazing £4961.64 (including gift aid). This was also a fantastic way to bring the school community together and do something positive during this time.
In addition to the fundraising staff brought in hundreds of food and household items which were donated to Worthing Food bank. Additionally, as part of a number of weekly creative challenges set for students, they were invited to design a thank you card to be sent out to key workers at the hospital and local care homes. Over 100 designs were submitted and the top 10 were printed and distributed, bringing smiles to those who received them. Louise Wallis-Tayler, one of the organisers of the challenge said, ‘The DHS4NHS campaign has been such a success in both raising much needed funds for our local hospital and in keeping the Team Durrington spirit alive during a time when we are not able to be together physically. The positive impact has been far reaching and we are super proud of everyone involved.’
As well as the much celebrated DHS4NHS campaign one member of the Durrington Team has gone above and beyond in contributing to helping those in need during the COVID 19 pandemic. Sue Slater, Design Technology Technician, put her skills to good use and started to make PPE by way of visors. She started off by making just under a hundred visors which were delivered to two local care homes, but it soon became clear that demand in the community was high and more were needed. Materials were ordered in and as soon as they arrived Sue set to work. To date over 1000 visors have now been produced and delivered to local care homes and hospices, the majority of which have gone to St Barnabas House, who said ‘Your generous and thoughtful gifts will allow more care for our patients and their families in a safe manner, for which we cannot thank you enough.’
Manager of Country Lodge Care Home Debbie said, ‘Thank you so much for the visors you made and delivered today, much appreciated.’ Abbotswood Care Home Manager Alison said, ‘I would like to thank you very much for your donation of visors, they are amazing and myself and my staff are so thankful.’
Matt Angell, Facilities Director, who oversaw the production and delivery, praised Sue saying, ‘We are very proud of Sue’s efforts and delighted to have been able to contribute to keeping our heroic key workers safe as they care for those who need it. Sue has done an amazing job in producing so many visors and helping our local community during this crisis. It was great to be able to put our design and technology specialist equipment to good use during a time when our students are unable to.’
Sue herself is very happy to help, saying, ‘I am really pleased to be able to use my skills and the facilities at DHS to help protect our local caregivers during this time. It is great to be able to do something positive in this situation.’
The school has also made great progress with online learning as students are continuing with their time tabled lessons remotely. Key worker children have also been able to access the school, not only during term time, but the holidays too, thanks to the generosity of staff volunteering to come in.
Chris Woodcock, Head of School, said, ‘This is an extremely challenging time for all schools and communities. Here at DHS we are immensely proud of our staff for delivering live lessons every single day and our students, the majority of which have made exceptional efforts with their home learning as well as giving back to our school and wider community.’