We want to say a really special thank you to the pupils who form Wellington College Leaders for choosing Home-Start Wokingham as one of their charities this year.

As part of the “Service” ethos upheld by the College since it opened its door to the orphan sons of army officers in 1853, this fantastic group of volunteers meets every Wednesday to work on projects for the greater good.

In particular, Venice McCerlain, aged 17 decided to run her first ever half marathon in Wokingham a few weeks ago and raised over £1,800 for Home-Start.

She explained why Home-Start is so important to her:

“Having lost my father when I was younger, I know from personal experience that charities such as Home-Start can have a massive impact on easing physical and psychological pressure in family life. Knowing that there are so many people within our country who suffer from immense poverty, grief and pain is really heart-breaking. Many families have to be turned away from Home-Start due to a lack of funding and the demand on the charity is only getting bigger as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am really proud to say that I have now raised £1,800 which will enable more families to receive the help they need.”

So what was the experience like?

“The atmosphere during the run was so chaotic and exciting with thousands of people running as well as supporting. There wasn’t a moment during the run in which people were not cheering or clapping. It was definitely one of the most physically and psychologically demanding challenges I have ever completed. As I was running I couldn’t stop thinking about the impact the money raised would have on the lives of families around the Wokingham Borough. That was truly what motivated me to keep running.”

Since then Wellington Leaders have appealed to fellow pupils to donate Easter eggs, goodies and toys for Home-Start’s Easter Goody Bags.  With their amazing generosity goody bags have been delivered to over 50 families around the borough this week.

We are incredibly grateful to Wellington College for allowing their pupils to devote time and energy to supporting Home-Start and very much hope to work with them again in the future.