GFM Raises £4,000 for Chosen Charity

February 5, 2020

We are delighted to announce that we raised £4,000 for our official chosen charity for 2019 the Multi-Schools Council (MSC). Throughout the year we hosted a variety of fundraising events that have helped MSC work towards their overall charity target of raising £100,000 in order to create multi-school councils all across England.

Without a doubt the highlight of the fundraising year was the ‘The Multi-Schools Council Walk’, which took place July 1st-5th. Our awesome employees volunteered and walked side-by-side with the charity, as they took on the challenge of walking to EVERY special school in Essex (18 in total) in just 5 days! All together that’s 150 miles, which was more than a marathon a day. The Multi-Schools Council founder Kierran Pearce, a teacher at Market Field School in Elmstead Market, managed to walk the entire distance and was supported along the way by many of the charities supporters. Kierran started the charity with the aim of breaking down negative perceptions towards children with Special Educational Needs, disabilities and mental health difficulties. To help achieve this the MSC hosts child-led events that integrate both special schools and mainstream schools and already works with over 100 schools across Essex.

The charity was selected last year by our employees following the successful pitch put forward by Back End Development Lead Ray Carter, whose 18-year-old godson Connell Scholar was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2, and who has not only benefited from the incredible work done by the MSC but in fact now serves as an ambassador for the charity.

Ray commented; “Connell attended Market Field School from the age of 4 and over the years learnt how to communicate, become independent and learn life-skills. As a teenager, he began to understand more about his diagnosis of Autism and decided it was not going to stop him from achieving his ambitions. He left school in 2017 with one of the best GCSE grades in the school’s history and is currently continuing his studies at Colchester Institute.

“Connell has also always been a keen footballer and had a vision to set up a local football team, much closer to home for children with special needs and disabilities. In 2017 his vision became reality when he wrote a letter to Mr Pearce outlining his ideas for a “Multi-Schools Council Football Team” and by the following year the team was up and running with over 30 members. Connell was subsequently awarded the ‘Jack Petchey Award’ for his contributions.”

Reflecting on our initiatives a delighted Connell commented; “We were initially blown away by the nomination and indescribably grateful for the support and funding GFM has provided the MSC.”

Kierran Pearce added; “Everyone involved with Multi-Schools Council is delighted with GFM’s support during the past year and we were honoured to be their chosen charity partner for 2019. It is particularly poignant that we were nominated by someone at GFM whose wife has provided support to Connell and his family over the last 18 years. Our mission is to break down barriers for children with additional needs and GFM’s support will definitely help us make great strides towards achieving this.”

Lastly, Justin Stone, our People Services Operations Manager, stated, “This is the first time at GFM we have looked to fundraise for a specific charity for an entire year and we were overwhelmed by the number of nominations we received by our employees. I think what captured people’s hearts and votes with the Multi-Schools Council, is the opportunity to not only give back to a local charity but also help support a cause that is working towards ensuring that every child’s voice is heard no matter what challenges they face. We have absolutely loved working with MSC this year and will continue to support them in the future as they work towards their goals and continue to positively influence the local community.”

For more information on the Multi-Schools Council and their mission visit the following site:

www.multischoolscouncil.org.uk

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