Lourdes fundraising and alumnae
Each February the school prepares for a fortnight of fundraising activities: Lourdes Fundraising Fortnight. The funds raised go to the work of the Glanfield Children’s Group, a charity that provides both a holiday-pilgrimage for the children, and a much-needed time of respite for their parents and carers. Students and alumnae support the Glanfield Children’s Group and the Catholic Association in running an annual holiday-pilgrimage to Lourdes, taking sick, disabled and disadvantaged children and their parents and siblings, as well as adults with learning difficulties. To introduce new members of the community to the story of Lourdes and to encourage students to support the fortnight, we welcomed in to school some of our alumnae to retell the relationship the school has had with this special place over the last decades, and the value that taking part in the pilgrimage has for our Sixth Form students.
On Friday 9 February current students heard from Fiona Sheppard, a medical student at the University of Cambridge, as part of their graduate programme, and Dr Ye Hung, a graduate of King’s College London and trained surgeon who is practising in emergency medicine. Fiona and Ye explained how fundraising for Lourdes, and going on the pilgrimage in the Sixth Form, had impacted their lives. They both spoke powerfully and with passion about their experiences, captivating the entire school audience and challenging them to continue the school’s Lourdes story, to positively impact the lives of sick children and their families who benefit from such a pilgrimage.
Never one to waste an opportunity, Miss Aodain Fleming, who organises the school’s involvement with the pilgrimages to Lourdes, invited the two alumnae to host a lunchtime careers talk with current Sixth Form students. Students were able to listen to both guests’ varied routes through their education and the challenges and enjoyment they experience in their work and training. Informative and uncompromising, the students had a unique opportunity to discuss applications, advice for interviews and the next steps. Many thanks to both alumnae for taking the time to inspire students – both to fundraise, and to consider careers in medicine!