At Richard Lander School we celebrate giving back. Volunteering our time, resources or energy to help others doesn’t just make the world better—it also helps to boosts our own happiness, health, and sense of well-being.
We have a strong tradition of raising money for worthy causes; supporting both local charities and those in the developing world. In the run up to Christmas we collect food donations for the Truro Foodbank and since 2012, Lander4Uganda has raised over £100,000 for our partner schools in Uganda, with our students also providing much of the labour to build toilet blocks, classrooms and many other facilities.
Our students are empathetic and thoughtful. This can be seen in their support of and enthusiasm for national awareness days, for example by wearing odd socks on World Down Syndrome Day, pink for Breast Cancer Now or yellow for World Mental Health Day.
Our Youth Activists and Eco Team strive to make the world a better place by raising awareness through assemblies, advocacy and direct action.
Lander4Uganda is Richard Lander School’s flagship initiative which fundraises for a better quality of life and education for the students in our Ugandan partner schools. Pre-Covid, every summer, a team of students and staff from Richard Lander School travelled to Uganda for a month to supervise the distribution of funds raised and to provide labour for building and infrastructure projects. Through this personal supervision and our long established contacts at the Ugandan schools, Lander4Uganda is able to provide donors with the security of knowing that every penny raised will benefit a Ugandan family directly.
Our relationship with the Molly and Paul Foundation began in 2009 when our Headteacher met the Pearl of Africa Children’s Choir at their performance in Truro Cathedral. He struck up friendships with founders and teachers Molly, Paul and Annet and invited them to visit our school. The seeds of an ambitious plan were sown and following a pilot visit and a stack of risk assessments, a small group of students from St Ives School, Falmouth School, Truro College and Richard Lander School travelled to Uganda as ‘Kernow to Kamuzinda’ in Summer 2011 for work experience and to make a difference.
The experience was a huge success and the remarkable benefits to our students and their Ugandan counterparts were so evident that the senior leadership team at Richard Lander School decided that the relationship must be nurtured and that the trip to Uganda would be an annual event. From 2012 – 2019, teams of staff and Year 10 students spent a year fundraising through sponsored events, bake sales, bag packing, craft fairs, film clubs, quiz nights, school sleepovers and individual fundraising before departing for Uganda in early July to distribute the funds they had raised and to work building toilets and classrooms, teaching lessons, distributing donations and forging forever friendships with the students of the Molly and Paul schools.
Being part of Lander4Uganda is extremely popular with our students; In 2019, our largest ever team of 90 people, raised over £40,000. Every member of every travelling team is self funded, and Lander4Uganda has zero administration costs, so every penny raised really does help a Ugandan. In the decade since Lander4Uganda was formed, well over £100,000 has been spent making improvements in schools and clinics in rural Uganda. In addition, donations of text books and laptops, baby clothes and toys, bras, sanitary items and medication and much more have been distributed to the most needy.
Whilst we have regrettably been unable to take students to Uganda since the arrival of coronavirus, we have continued fundraising to support our partner schools in their hours of extra need. The funds raised by the Lander4Uganda 2020 team were invested in the purchase of 12 acres of land with the long term aim of providing food security to the Molly and Paul schools. The land was tilled, fences were put up and crops were planted, nurtured, harvested and then eaten by the students, staff and their families during lockdown. These timely deliveries of food were absolutely vital in supporting families with no way of supporting themselves due to coronavirus restrictions.
In late 2020, over 100 staff and students took part in ‘The Posho Challenge’ and ate only the restricted diet of a Ugandan child for 24 hours. The sponsorship this raised meant that the 12 acres of land were cultivated and used successfully to feed our again in 2021.
The Lander4Uganda Uniform shop also helps to provide a steady income, raising nearly £2000 in the 2020/2021 academic year. Our merit system allows students to donate their merits to plant trees in Uganda, whilst parents can contribute to planting trees by purchasing a ‘Tigger tree’ keyring from main reception. We are also often amazed by the efforts of individual students and love to support where we can.
We look forward to returning to Uganda and to welcoming the Pearl of Africa Children’s Choir back to the UK at the earliest safe opportunity.
A highlight of the Autumn term is BBC Children in Need. A dedicated non-uniform day, along with other fundraisers which always include an impressive bake off, lead to a generous donation every year. To find out about the work BBC Children in Need support locally please follow this link.
In the run up to Christmas we collect food donations for the Truro Foodbank. Many of our tutor groups choose to collect donations every day using a ‘reverse advent calendar’ and on the last day of term all students are invited to take part in a non-uniform day where they can either bring in a donation of food or donate £1 for the food bank in return for wearing their Christmas best!