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Schools give themselves 7 days to raise £18,000 for Christmas charity

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A group of independent schools in Cambridge and Saffron Walden is aiming to raise £18,000 in a week as part of this year’s Big Give Christmas Challenge.

The money raised by the Stephen Perse Foundation will secure and support bursary places at its schools in Cambridge and Saffron Walden for young people displaced by conflict – especially the war in Ukraine.

Donations towards the Big Give Christmas Challenge 2022 need to be made between November 29 and December 6, for the school to have its funds doubled.

The first £9,000 of gifts will be matched, so early gifts have twice the impact.


Richard Girvan is Stephen Perse principal. He wants to offer school places to children who have been displaced by war.

Richard Girvan, principal of the Stephen Perse Foundation said: “We firmly believe that all young people have the potential to succeed but sometimes a lack of opportunities or guidance can hinder that.

“The Foundation’s bursary programmes will help to address some of these inequalities.

“Within this context we recognise the part that we can play in responding to humanitarian crises, such as the war in Ukraine, by offering school places to a number of young people seeking international protection, where we are satisfied that we can meet their needs.


“This has the potential to transform lives and allows our community to contribute to the national effort to provide education, stability, and pastoral care at a time of enormous challenge in the lives of so many young people.”

He said: “This year we are aiming to raise at least £18,000.

“To access the £9,000, we have in the matching pot, we need to raise £9,000 in online donations between noon on November 29 and noon on December 6.

“We hope that everyone who can do so will give generously this Christmas to help us to carry on the charitable work we all feel so passionately about.”

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The guardian of The Stephen Perse Foundation’s first Ukrainian student said: “When we look at what is happening in Ukraine right now, we see kids attending lessons in subways on laptops.

“So, for Viktor to be attending lessons in person, in a safe environment, in a welcoming community is massive… Viktor is just one case, there are an awful lot of children in similar circumstances – these bursaries make an absolutely transformative difference to the lives of these kids.

“I would urge you to be as generous as you can and to help support these bursaries because they are making big, big differences.”

Hear more from staff, students and families in the Stephen Perse Foundation campaign video.



What can you do to help?


  • Make a gift between noon 29 November and noon 6 December using this link;
  • Pass on this link to anyone interested in supporting opportunities for students displaced by conflict and in having their donation
  • Follow Stephen Perse Foundation on social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and like, retweet and share our Big Give messaging to spread the word and raise more donations!

You can help by donating via the Big Give Christmas Challenge 2022, using this link.

More info about the Christmas Challenge:



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