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Lanark Grammar School raises over £5000 for mental health charity

LGS Charity

Lanark Grammar School Headteacher Mark Sherry joins in the (freezing!) fundraising fun

Article submitted by Jessica Robson, School Captain and Member of LGS Charity Committee 

Amid the pandemic, many would have thought we couldn’t possibly pull off our famous Charity Week at LGS. Well, we didn’t half prove them wrong. We had a week full of entertainment and laughs, raising awareness and funds, and most importantly keeping everyone safe!

This year our chosen charity was SAMH – the Scottish Association for Mental Health. Mental health is something everyone can relate to, and this has become more evident over the course of the coronavirus pandemic. SAMH do a great deal of important work to raise awareness around mental health and provide support to those in need.

Our Charity Committee faced obvious challenges but were determined to have a Charity Week as brilliant as ever, if not even better. So, we had to think outside the box, and this is what happened…

Charity Week kicked off on Sunday 25th October, on Garry Bridge in Killiecrankie, as four very nervous School Captains took on the Highland Fling Bungee Jump. Standing with toes over the edge, they tried to look excited for the cameras as they prepared to throw themselves into a 40metre jump – in the pouring rain, too! By this point, the JustGiving page had already received thousands of pounds in donations, so there was no going back. Of course, they all completed the jump and, eventually (once the shock had worn off), all had a smile on their face. This was a fantastic way to begin the week and from here we knew this was going to be a very special week in school.

Monday saw some socially distanced dancing at break and lunch by the Charity Committee on the bridge in the Street. Whilst you won’t be seeing any of us on Strictly any time soon, our questionable dance skills certainly added to the positive vibe in school. And this was only the beginning!

On Tuesday, pupils were treated at lunch to the official video from the Captains’ bungee jump. The video went down a storm and the donations kept on flooding in. We smashed our £3,000 target and it was only Tuesday. By this point, senior pupils in core PE lessons had already started racking up miles as part of their 500mile challenge for the week in which everyone contributed by walking or running. Junior core PE pupils took on the SAMH Stomp challenge, in which they tried to climb as many stairs as possible over the course of the week. The message behind these PE challenges was that when everyone makes their own small contribution, it amounts to something much bigger when we add all our efforts together as a team.

With Wednesday came the much-loved “Get Your Revenge”, as a group of very brave teachers and S6 pupils volunteered to sit outside in the freezing cold and have water balloons thrown at them by incredibly enthusiastic pupils. An unfortunate few even had to face a full bucket of freezing cold water over their head! The real heroes of this event were eight amazing S6 girls who had to deal with not only water balloons and ice buckets, but also plates of whipped cream to the face and buckets of flour and water over their heads. In such cold conditions outside, this really was a very impressive act by all of our courageous volunteers. Also on Wednesday, S1 pupils learned the Makaton for “Monster Mash”, which was enjoyable for everyone involved! This was part of learning the benefits that learning a new skill can have on our mental health.

At lunch time on Thursday, we had yet another group of brave S6 pupils step up to do their bit – this time the boys, who had their legs waxed on stage, along with Mr Campbell! They all did well to hide the screams behind their face masks. The audience thoroughly enjoyed watching, but no one had more fun than the girls who got kitted out in full PPE to wax the boys’ legs! However, the best was yet to come…

Knowing we couldn’t have the traditional teachers’ dance on stage to close out the week, we had a special surprise in store for our Friday finale. Of course, it had to be a teachers’ TikTok competition! This was an enormous success and earned the biggest cheers of the week. With so many fantastic entries, our teachers really did go the extra mile with their effort. Choosing winners in various categories was no easy task, especially choosing our overall winners. However, it was the Music & Drama teachers who came out on top after a phenomenal effort. They treated pupils at junior lunch to a live performance of their TikToks, socially distanced on the bridge. All the Teacher TikTok entries can be found on Twitter and YouTube (video link here) – they really are worth a watch! Also, whilst the Charity Committee’s dancing earlier in the week may not have been Strictly-worthy, do keep an eye out for Mr Falconer!

Our PE challenges concluded and both the senior and junior pupils smashed their targets. Our seniors racked up an incredible 933 miles (1500km) and our juniors climbed well over 10000 stairs. Well done to everyone who played their part to help achieve such brilliant totals!

Charity Week is something LGS is very proud of and every year it is a great success. Despite the many obstacles, this year went above and beyond expectations and raised the most money we have ever raised, with well over £5000. The Charity Committee would like to thank everyone who made a donation – either through ParentPay or JustGiving - and contributed to this fantastic total. Thanks must also go to all pupils and staff for their contribution throughout the week, helping to create such a positive vibe in school during what is a challenging time for everyone. Most importantly, we must also thank Mr Sherry and Mrs Wilson, without whom Charity Week simply could not have happened.

There was in incredible atmosphere in school throughout the whole week and, as always, it was amazing to see our school community coming together to raise funds and awareness for such an important and relevant issue. Through these difficult times, the LGS spirit prevails!

Jessica would like to thank her fellow School Captain - Donald Gilchrist, Vice Captains - Ellie Cringan and Angel Loi, the LGS Charity Committee, School teachers, pupils and everyone who donated to, or participated in, the SAMH fundraising campaign.