West Hatch High School students took part in a fund-raising Christmas market at Guildhall, London (November 18 and 19).
The event was organised by Alderman John Garbutt and his partner Solangela Tangarife with the sole purpose of supporting the charity, the British Red Cross, a volunteer-led humanitarian organisation that helps people all over the globe in crisis.
It responds to emergencies and also help people recover and move on with their lives once the crisis is over.
As well as providing emergency teams to help in the aftermath of the St Jude Storm that left thousands of homes in the UK without power, the charity has helped victims of Typhoon Haiyan which hit the Philippines on November 8 and has left the country in devastation, with 4.28 million people affect and an expected death toll of 10,000.
The British Red Cross has sent a relief team to the Philippines, is searching for the missing and has provided £10m – almost half of which came from the British public’s pockets.
Tesco has partnered with the Red Cross and had raised almost £500,000 which will provide food, clean water medicine and shelter to people in need.
iTunes has also enabled people to donate money to the International Red Cross which the British association is part of.
Every little bit helps, including all the money raised at the British Red Cross Christmas Market at the prestigious Guildhall, home to the City of London Corporation.
The first night had an expected total of 850 people gathered to show their support.
Beginning at 5.30pm, stallholders had their stock ready to sell. The hall was buzzing with cheer, people busy buying and selling Christmas-themed items whilst a choir of school children sang hymns from a balcony.
A wide variety of products were sold, including clothes, books, perfumes and sweets.
West Hatch had its own stall, Alderman’s Pantry, run by Caroline Haines and her husband Alderman Gordon Haines, which sold jams, drinks and gin.
Among those who helped at the stall were West Hatch sixth former Adil Sait, Janet Fariminer who happily provided the blackcurrants for the jam, and Jill Smith, who said: “A wonderful night was had by all."
The stall raised £1,500.
At 6.20pm, Princess Alexandra untied the red ribbon, officially opening the event.
She spoke briefly to guests and after hearing I wanted to be a journalist, she joked: “I should better mind what I say!" before walking away to greet another visitor.
The official opening brought a new wave of guests to the stalls and the Alderman’s Pantry sold more than ever from that point on, until 9pm and 10.30am-6pm the following day.
Other stalls were selling their own stock too and a lot of money was given to support the British Red Cross. There was even a silent auction, selling art pieces such as a rare photograph of Marilyn Monroe.
On the Tuesday, the girl group Modality – who are mainly from West Hatch – accompanied by Jack Drury and Jenny Ewington also wowed the crowds.
The event was a great success and raised about £100,000 for the British Red Cross. This will not only help the victims of Typhoon Haiyan but also everyone in your local area.
West Hatch High School will surely be involved in years to come!
By Year 10 pupil Harriet Davies
West Hatch Sixth Form students Adil Sait and Vasili Nickolov help at the Guildhall Red Cross Christmas market