Earl Mortimer College has always been a place in which both students and teachers actively try to help those outside of the College with the intention of demonstrating that the wider community and their needs are just as important as our own. Whether it be a Macmillan Coffee Morning, a Children In Need cake sale or a non-uniform “Feel Good Friday”, we always manage to dig deep and pull it out of the bag to raise vast amounts of money for amazing causes. This year alone, we have been able to raise thousands of pounds in order to help the sick, the vulnerable, the elderly, and many other groups in society, both at home and in faraway places, to get the all-important care and devotion to all of those who are not as lucky as ourselves. With the end of the academic year fast approaching, the Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural group had one last, very hard decision to make before kicking off their SMSC boots for the summer… what was the last “feel good” fundraiser of the year going to be in aid of?
After careful research and deliberation, the group came across the story of local girl Rosie Kilburn, who sadly died of cancer, and decided that her organisation, The Knock on Effect, was the worthy cause they were looking for after being inspired by Rosie’s attitude and strength throughout the tribulations she had to face in her life. However, her story is not one of doom and gloom as you may be thinking. Rosie was a fighter, determined to not only combat her illness, but to help others deal with cancer and its effects in the process. She was definitely not a victim of her disease, and she wanted to get rid of the horrid taboo surrounding ‘the big C’ and rather concentrate on the bigger picture; what people could do to help.
Rosie’s mother, Jo Davidson, was our guest speaker at the 2014 Annual Academic Awards evening earlier in the year and shared precious memories of her daughter with many of our students and their families during her speech. This has given us a real insight into the kind of person Rosie was and as a result, many students possess the same admiration for Rosie as the SMSC team do already!
After losing her battle to the disease, The Knock on Effect lives on as an independent organisation in dedication to Rosie and her efforts. It continues to deliver the help others may need to come to terms with their illnesses and encourage progression, rather than ignoring the problem and locking themselves away from the outside world. The Knock on Effect acts on Rosie’s behalf to organise fundraisers to carry on her work, and EMC are proud to say that we are able to take part in fundraising for The Knock on Effect on Friday 11th July.
Students will focus on the wide theme of the spiritual, moral, social and cultural aspects of America and all lessons will be tailored according to this. Cakes will be available to purchase during breaktime and lunchtime on the Friday and there will be an all-American themed lunch in the canteen to accompany this. Furthermore, students can enjoy a round of Extreme Golf on the field, participation will be encouraged and all proceeds will go to The Knock on Effect.
Naturally, there is a US-themed clothing policy that will be enforced for one day only; EMC students have been asked to take advantage of this and dress to impress in all their American themed finery!
External competitions, such a designing a logo or art piece to be used by The Knock on Effect, will be running in conjunction with events at College. The best entries will be shortlisted, and given to Rosie’s organisation to be used on merchandise, such as T-shirts and mugs. They will also be used to auction off later in the year in a bid to raise even more money and enable The Knock on Effect to carry on the terrific work they do.
The SMSC group have high hopes for the drop down day, and are urging all students to get behind it to make Friday 11th a massive success and raise awareness for this local organisation. When I asked Miss Anderson (who is head of the SMSC group) about this day she said:
“I am really excited about this. The students will get to experience exciting lessons and learn about a different culture. It is also a fantastic opportunity for them to engage with each other and strengthen the bonds here at EMC. I am really proud that so many students have thought about why we are doing this and the impact it will have on helping others. The students really took to Rosie’s story and were inspired by her determination and humble nature. This day is about celebrating her achievements and pushing others to break the taboo surrounding illnesses such as cancer. Days like this encourage community spirit and that is something that this College is full of!”
I was really excited when Miss Anderson asked me to write this blog! I hope that by seeing what we have done here at EMC other colleges will be encouraged to fundraise more and help their local organisations help the community. BE INSPIRED, I was!
Tilly Stanik (Year 12)