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2017 · ISSUE 6

7

Philanthropy in action

Since September 2016, the Dragon

community has raised almost £150,000 for

charity. The Dragon Charity Christmas Sale

held last December raised £102,500 and

a further £16,393 was raised by Dragon

children through their Social Impact

Programme. In addition, Dragon children

working on their own initiatives raised

another £28,000.

Danny Gill, Director of Social Enterprise

at the Dragon, explains what the Dragon

Social Impact Programme is about. “Dragons

are encouraged to become leaders in

philanthropy and social entrepreneurship, to

become the visionaries who will set the future

agenda for beneficial social transformation.

One of the ways we can do this is to teach

our pupils to give of their time, skills and

resources intelligently and effectively.”

The Governors’ Challenge Market Day

enabled Year 7 to show how enterprising they

are. The £8,871 they raised was distributed

among 28 charities chosen by Philanthropy

Ambassadors in each form.

The Year 8 Charity Challenge, organised

and led by the post-exam group of pupils,

raised almost £5,000 for the work of Free the

Children in Sierra Leone, which provides

education for 100 children and health care

training for 60 mothers.

The Dragon Christmas Sale (now in its

73rd year) is the School’s biggest community

event; 250 children, volunteer parents

and staff raise money for charities to help

children and families locally, nationally and

overseas. Over the past 10 years, the Sale

has raised and distributed over £1 million

and, over the course of the last 73 years, has

donated over £2 million.

Forty children from the Dragon and

Pegasus Primary School, a partner school

in the Blackbird Academy Trust (BAT) of

which the Dragon is a lead sponsor, recently

pitched for funds from the Dragon Charity

Sale in March 2017. Having listened to

the children’s emotive pitches, the Sale

Committee awarded funds for causes that

included

Oxford Homeless Pathways

,

Bees for

Development

and

Hand in Hand for Syria

.

Rob Overend, Social Impact Programme

teacher, said, “When children realise how

much money they have been awarded for

their charity, and the impact it will have, it is

an exciting and magical moment.”

Gamopedi Primary School recently sent a picture of a Dragon School roundabout pump, funded by Dragon pupils.

ACHIEVEMENTS

Rick Mower (OD 1981) founded RAW

Workshop, a vibrant social enterprise in

Oxford that designs and makes wooden

furniture and more. 85% of the RAW

team are fighting, and winning, battles

against disadvantage and prejudice which

marginalises them, whether as a result of

mental health issues, addiction, a disability

or a history of being on the wrong side of

the justice system. Rick says, “We don’t

trade on sympathy or worthiness, we

compete on price, quality and service. By

making great products, people in our team

can become exceptional rather than being

the exception.”

Also in Oxford, James Kirkham (1986)

works for the Oxford Kurdish and Syrian

Association (OKSA), helping refugees with

housing, language skills, social events and

finding work. At a recent Spectrum event

for Dragon boarders, James introduced the

plight of refugees fleeing war-torn Syria.

James, a fluent Arabic speaker, was then

a case worker helping Syrian refugees to

settle in Oxford. The Dragon was delighted

to help this community with donations of

duvets, rugs and clothing.

James is also in the preliminary stages

of planning a trip to Kobane in Northern

Syria with Mustafa, a Kurdish refugee.

They hope to supply and aid schools in

Mustafa’s community. OKSA are also

fundraising and collecting donations for

this trip.

RAW aims to help the marginalised

and create social impact, so Rick was

delighted when James approached him to

see if he could provide work for two skilled

Syrian refugees. Mahmoud, a master

furniture maker, and Mohammed were

keen to get stuck into working with RAW,

despite the language barrier. Rick is now

negotiating a contract to supply a London

Health Club for Social Entrepreneurs with

their furniture requirements. Hopefully

Mahmoud will take on this challenge.

Rick explained his zeal for social

impact: “Grabbing every opportunity and

finding a way to make things happen was

imbued in me at the Dragon. It’s become

part of the RAW culture too!"

James added, “Having had the privilege

of a Dragon education, I have since felt

inclined to help those most in need. The

Dragon gave me the grounding to excel

academically, learning Arabic at university.

I use this skill working with the Syrian

refugee community in Oxford. Even

today the Dragon is supporting this work,

showing a life-long commitment to its

alumni."

See

www.raw-workshop.co.uk

or contact

Rick at

rick@raw-workshop.co.uk .

If you

can provide help to OKSA, please contact

James on

jameskirkham42@gmail.com

And at home