On the 15 December 2017, the sixth form of Heathfield Community College once again took part in ‘Christmas Jumper Day’, a nationwide fundraising campaign run by the international charity Save the Children. As last year came to a close, the school and thousands of people across the country pulled on a festive sweater and donated to the crucial organisation.

The funds raised go towards the £2 billion annual budget of the non-governmental organisation. Save the Children support the most deprived young people across the world, lobbying major world leaders and sending vital aid to those most in need. They employ 25,000 staff, all working towards their three main aims: giving children their best chance of living to their fifth birthday, protecting children from violence in all its forms, such as war and conflict, and child marriages, and improving their access to education. Six million children die every year from easily preventable diseases, such as cholera and pneumonia, and one in six children don’t go to school, most of them girls. These figures are shocking, and reflect a humanitarian crisis that is far from uncommon in less developed countries across the world.

The Heathfield college enjoyed a cheerful day supporting the important cause, and raising over £250 in the process. Save the Children, with the aim of “the biggest, silliest day ever”, have already raised £1.9 million. The much-needed money will likely contribute to some of the crises that need it most, including the current war in Yemen. Five days after Christmas Jumper Day, on the 20 December, the charity marked the 1000th day since the escalation of this conflict. Following the outbreak, Yemen has been plagued with danger and disease, with children being those most at risk. According to the UN, it is the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today.

Emily Thompson, a sixth form student at the Heathfield Community College, said it was "vital that young people be involved in supporting charities like these, and the impact that they have around the world." She commented, “It was a fantastically organised day and I was genuinely and heartwarmingly surprised to see how many people got involved, not only donating the minimum but also going the extra mile to help those in need.” The school are likely to be involved with this day once again next year.

To find out more about Christmas Jumper Day, visit their website or call them on +44 (0)20 7012 6400. If you can spare a few pounds, donations are always welcome and needed.

Louisa Dollimore, Heathfield Sixth Form