GALLERY: Stevenage students raise £35,000 for charity

Students of John Henry Newman school on the 'Pie the teacher' stall, part of the KISS charity week

Students of John Henry Newman school on the 'Pie the teacher' stall, part of the KISS charity week - Credit: Archant

STUDENTS kissed goodbye to their social lives last week as they went all out to raise thousands of pounds for a charity after witnessing first hand what it can achieve.

Sixth formers who make up the head boy and girl teams at John Henry Newman School in Stevenage rounded off five days of fundraising on Friday for the Kiddies Support Scheme (KISS), which supports children and their families living in Uganda.

Students Kate Anderson, Danny Simpson, Harry Buhagiar, Joe Weaver, Amy Belletty and Virginia Maniscalco spent two weeks in the African country over Christmas volunteering for KISS, which has been linked with the school for 17 years.

Back on home soil, the teenagers organised a series of activities for fellow students to take part in – including a silent rave and a John Henry’s Got Talent competition – with a final fundraising total expected in the region of £35,000.

Staff at the school in Hitchin Road have also been getting in the act, with headteacher Clive Mathew having maggots poured over him and eating pigs brain after a £3,000 target was raised.

Speaking about visiting Uganda, deputy head boy Harry, 18, said: “We’ve been raising money throughout our school years but it was amazing to see where it goes. Some of what we saw was heartbreaking but with the support of KISS that can change. It makes you realise how lucky we are when you look at how many people have access to clean water when compared to here or the fact many only have one meal a day.”

Deputy head girl Amy, 18, said: “We were all friends before but we’ve definitely gelled and we are like a little family now. The week shows how generous people are in our school and the surrounding community. It’s the pinnacle of the school year and I think it’s something unique to John Henry Newman.”

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KISS trustee Kate Batterbury, who accompanied the students to Uganda, said the money will help the charity to expand and support more children, although emphasised the need to continue the personal nature of KISS’ work.

For more information about the charity visit