Portsmouth High School students host Charity Week to support the homeless

Deputy head girl, Mabel Hutton, feeds a dinosaur, Fleur Houselander (Year 9).
Deputy head girl, Mabel Hutton, feeds a dinosaur, Fleur Houselander (Year 9).
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PORTSMOUTH High School has hosted its annual charity week to raise money for the homeless.

The pupils decided to raise money for local charity, Society of St James, after being inspired to help following a whole school assembly.

Head girl netball team, Mabel Hutton, Susie Sparkes, Chloe Wildsmith and Lucy Rukin.

Head girl netball team, Mabel Hutton, Susie Sparkes, Chloe Wildsmith and Lucy Rukin.

Fundraising events included two fashion shows, a talent contest, fancy dress parade and a netball match against the boys from Portsmouth Grammar School.

Some of the girls even took part in a sponsored sleep out to help gain an understanding of what conditions are like for people sleeping rough. 

Head girl Chloe Wildsmith, 18, said: ‘We decided that we wanted to support a local homelessness charity because it is such a large issue across the UK and is particularly prominent in Portsmouth.

‘Myself and the deputy head girl took part in the annual Society of St James sponsored sleep out.

Year 8 pupils, Mia Froggatt and Melody Christopher dressed as The Simpsons.

Year 8 pupils, Mia Froggatt and Melody Christopher dressed as The Simpsons.

‘It was cold wet and uncomfortable, but we were lucky to come home to a warm house and a warm bath unlike people who are actually homeless.

‘I think this experience was a real eye opener and helped motivate us through Charity Week as we will remember what the money we raise is aiming to tackle.’

Head of sixth form Rob Smith praised the girls for taking an active role in the local community. 

Mr Smith said: ‘At Portsmouth High School we encourage social responsibility as much as academic achievements and the girls give to the community in many other ways too, offering their time and creativity to a huge range of projects. It is always encouraging to see young people engaged with the wider community. 

‘The issue of homelessness has really resonated with them. 

‘Subsequently, with great abundance and energy they have thrown themselves into this charity campaign.’

The Society of St James has been running for 47 years and offers support across Hampshire through shared houses, hostels and day and night shelter services. It also provides support to people suffering from mental health problems and associated substance misuse.

The student led charity week initiative has been supporting local causes for the last 25 years.