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    Students win £1,000 for St Clare Hospice

    Charity-minded students at West Hatch High School, Chigwell, gave presentations on their chosen causes in the final of the school’s First Give competition.

    Nine teams of Year 8 students gave presentations on their favoured charities before an audience and panel of judges at the school tonight (Thursday).

    St Clare Hospice benefits from a £1,000 cheque after being chosen by the winning team - Macie Thorne, Abigail Holmes-Bright, Taila Black, Rebecca Wallis and Maddie Fitch.

    Cheques for £250 go to the DogsTrust (chosen by students Daisy Bongart, Amy-Louise Fundell and Roberta Kolpakovaite) and Macmillan Cancer Support (chosen by students Louise Bruce, Simbiyat Sikiru, Olivia Roberts and Emily Hazell.

    Each team decided on the charity to support, contacted the organisation and arranged a visit to find out more about its work, and researched their chosen organisation for their presentation.

    The prize money for the West Hatch final was provided by the Jack Petchey Foundation.

    The judges were Assistant Headteacher Laurie Mackintosh, the school’s careers co-ordinator Geoff Towsey, Chigwell Parish Council chairman Richard Alvin and student Georgia Roth.

    Kathryn Bowman, Head of RS at West Hatch High School, said: "I am overwhelmed by the standard of work that Year 8 have produced during their First Give Project and have been moved to tears on more than one occasion during their presentations.

    "Seeing pupils be so inspired by their own work and research that they have decided to go and fundraise for them by themselves - bag packing in supermarkets, cake sales in school and a sponsored swim - has really touched me.

    "As a teacher, it has been lovely to watch the children build up a relationship with their chosen charities."

    She added: "I am looking forward to doing this again next year."

    The evening included a performance from the musical 'Cats' by Year 13 students and presentations from Jake Groce and Joseph Mulvihill-Young, winners of the school’s heat in the Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge.