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Mayor's Visit for Year 8 'FirstGive' Charity Presentation

ELOQUENT, informed and confident Year 8 pupils impressed the Mayor of Croydon during a public speaking competition at Virgo Fidelis in February. The pupils were competing to win a top prize of £1,000 or two £250 runner-up prizes, by delivering a five minute presentation on a charity that helps local people. The talented 12 and 13 year olds were given the challenging task of independently visiting a charity of their choice, interviewing the key members of staff and then delivering an inspiring and insightful speech where knowledge, creativity and delivery were graded. Winning teams donate the prize-money to their charity.

Mayor of Croydon, councillor Wayne Trakas-Lawlor, who was one of the five judges, said: "I was so impressed by the student's presentations and their passion for their chosen charities. I found their speeches to be eloquent, informed and very confident. I hope to see the students from Virgo Fidelis taking a leading role in public life as Councillor, Members of Parliament, Assembly Members and many other roles serving the community. I look forward to hearing more about the progress made by the students."

The other judges were Bromley Councillor Kate Lymer, deputy head teacher Alex Fernandez, sixth form head girl Joelle Palmer and deputy sixth form head girl Jessica Huang. Councilllor Kate Lymer praised out girls and the presentations: "Thank you for a wonderful morning at VF. The standard of presentations by all of the girls was extremely high, and their knowledge of their subject matter was incredibly impressive. Public speaking is a skill that has to be learnt and practiced like any other skill, and it is fantastic that VF provide their pupils with brilliant opportunities like this one".

Virgo Fidelis was chosen by First Give, the charity that runs the programme in partnership with just 140 schools in England. By enabling pupils to give their time, tenacity and talents to improve their local communities First Give's vision is to help build a new generation of motivated and switched-on young people who want to use their skills to support local charities and make the lives of others in and around their communities better.

The three charities that will financially benefit from the pupils' efforts are Off the Record, Ability to Change and The British Heart Foundation. Ms Cummins, Head of Year 8, said: "As a Catholic school we strive to give our pupils the chance to excel and live out the gospel value of loving our neighbour. Charities help the most vulnerable in society and the First Give programme helps pupils to develop a passion for making society a better, fairer place for all.