Hope Week
18th December 2014

Having spent a week at Wellingborough’s Hope Project ‘Hope Week’, an annual summer holiday event for children on Wellingborough’s Hemmingwell estate,  in August 2013, two former Oundle School pupils, Charlotte Robson (18) and Emma Morse (18) set their minds to fundraising for ‘Hope Week’ 2014. Earlier in the year, Charlotte and Emma organised a Valentine’s Ball at which they raised over £1500. Over the summer, the girls saw their money put to good use as they volunteered once again helping the local children enjoy another action-packed week of fun and entertainment.

‘Hope Week’ costs in the order of £8,500 to run and organisers are always looking for fundraisers to help with the costs. The local residents association fund raises throughout the year in order to keep the cost for local families as low as possible. The cost per day is £1 per child up to a maximum of £3 for a family.

Charlotte commented, “Having started organising the Valentine’s Ball in September 2013 the night of the Ball dawned on us much too quickly. The night before was spent frantically cutting out tissue paper in the shapes of hearts and finalising table plans – easier said than done! Having put so much organization into the event neither Emma nor I could have envisioned it being more successful.”

Sixth Formers arrived with their dates - many of the girls had been given roses, and enjoyed a delicious meal of chicken with dauphinoise potatoes, ribbons of courgette and carrots followed by cupcakes and heart shaped shortbread. Throughout the dinner those attending had the opportunity of watching a PowerPoint of photos showcasing the photos from Hope Week 2013. With prizes provided by local businesses including massages, plants and food vouchers, there was a real buzz. Once dinner was over those attending enjoyed music supplied by DJ Rich Titchener, from a club in London, who played a range of music which resulted in a great atmosphere.

Charlotte concluded, “Though planning the Ball was tough and, more often than not, stressful the fact that we raised in excess of £1500 for this year’s Hope Week makes me immensely proud. Both Emma and I feel, having volunteered at the Hope Week again this year that this local charity is well worth every penny that we have raised as the opportunity which it gives this disadvantaged community to allow their children to just be children for a few days and forget their troubles is admirable. We were both so excited about returning to the Hope Week this year knowing that through the efforts of the Oundle Sixth Form we had contributed towards just under 20 percent of the cost of running the week. We would like to thank all those who attended the Ball and made the evening possible –through our enjoyment we have been able to help our local community which is something we should all be very proud of!

The work that Simon and Bernie Trundle, and all the other volunteers, do through the Hope Church is truly inspiring. Hope Week is such an amazing experience for both the children and the volunteers alike – the opportunity to meet these incredible people who have overcome such difficult circumstances is inspirational. We’ve already promised to go back to Hope Week next year and have decided to try and raise as much money as we can in the coming year so that we can truly support the amazing experience that Hope Week gives the children.”

Pastor of The Hope Church and ‘Hope Week’ organiser, Simon Trundle commented, Emma and Charlotte threw themselves in to various activities during Hope Week 2014.  They were a credit to Oundle School, volunteering for many of the more laborious and less glamorous jobs such as registration and cleaning the loos!  They were always actively seeking the next job and have become an integral part of our Hope Week team.”

For more details about The Hope Project and Hope Week phone Bernie Trundle 01933 664224


Background on Hope Week

Hope Week has been an annual August event in Wellingborough since 2003. A week of fun and games, sport and art, community projects and talent shows takes place in and around two large marquees at the Hope Church, Guillemot Lane, Hemmingwell, Wellingborough. On average 450 to 500 children register for a fantastic week which ends with a talent show on the Saturday night. Between 30 and 40 young volunteers (over 16yrs) travel from all over the UK to help with Hope Week, staying with church families. Local volunteers make up 50% of the Hope Week team. Local children look forward to renewing old friendships with the volunteers.

During Hope Week, the youth volunteers work with some of the older local children to undertake a community project during the week. Past projects have included clean-up sessions around the Hemmingwell estate, gardening and planting bulbs in a local residential home for the elderly, constructing a community garden and landscaping a garden for a local resident. The busy artzone is held in a large  marquee and includes activities such as face painting, tie dyeing, clay modelling, beadwork, painting, poster making, T Shirt design, collage and mosaics to name but a few! Many months of preparation go into providing more than ten different activities each day and many parents come to enjoy the art tables with their children.

Background Information on Oundle School

Oundle School is situated in the quintessentially English market town of Oundle, about 90 miles north of London. The School’s buildings, dating from the 17th to the 21st centuries, are dispersed throughout the town, which is, to a large extent, its campus.

The School’s history dates back to 1556, when Sir William Laxton, Master of the Worshipful Company of Grocers and Lord Mayor of London, endowed and re-founded the original Oundle Grammar School, of which he was a former pupil. In 1876, the Grocer’s Company divided the School into two parts; Laxton Grammar School, primarily for the inhabitants of the town, and Oundle School, primarily for pupils from further afield. In 2000, the Grocers’ Company reunited the two schools under the common name of Oundle School and retained the name of Laxton for the day House.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Oundle was put firmly on the map of leading English public schools by its most famous headmaster, F W Sanderson, who established Oundle’s reputation as one of the great science and engineering schools, a reputation still renowned today. In 2007, SciTec - a major and ground-breaking new science complex - opened, housing 16 state-of-the-art laboratories. Phase two of the SciTec vision is now underway, with enhanced Design Technology facilities and a new purpose-built Mathematics Department planned to link the STEM subjects both physically and philosophically. A concurrent Sports Masterplan will upgrade sporting facilities across the School over the next few years, including a new 1st XI cricket pavilion in 2015.

There are currently 1110 pupils are on roll at Oundle School, with 865 boarders and 250 day pupils. Also within the Corporation of Oundle School is Laxton Junior School, a day School for children aged 4 to 11. 

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