Last week, a team of teachers and pupils from University College School, Hampstead, led by the Head of Sixth Form, Russell Chapman, delivered over 1300 books to local charities and schools. The books, either new or nearly new, had been donated by members of the school community during the final two weeks of term, and they had been placed under the UCS Giving Tree which was prominent in the school’s reception area throughout the festive season.
Russell launched the appeal to the pupils at the end of November and was stunned by how quickly the tree became surrounded by a sea of books. “We set our pupils the challenge of collecting one thousand books to give one thousand readers a chance to smile”, said the Head of Sixth Form. “We wanted to give readers the opportunity to become immersed and lose themselves in an imaginary world. In this way they could discover the value of a good book: a real gift indeed.” Russell was delighted the collection beat its initial target, and on the final two days of term delivered the books to local charities, schools and the children’s clinics at the Royal Free Hospital, “I can’t believe so many books were donated in such a short space of time. It was extremely rewarding to see the smiles of the people of received the books and I would like to thank everyone who helped. You have made a difference to so many people. Thank you.”
This initiative was one of a number of charitable ventures run at UCS during the autumn term. During the second half of the term, pupils raised over £20,000 for local charities and three tonnes of food were collected for the North Paddington Food Bank in October.