School Charity Challenge 2023

Pupils meet the Charity Challenge!

We joined forces with St John the Baptist’s College and Clounagh Junior High to support five charities.

The inaugural John Wilson Memorial Trust School Charity Challenge saw teams from each school representing the Kevin Bell Reparation Trust, Aspire NI, Reach Mentoring, Southern Area Hospice and Voice of Young People in Care.

Each team took part in research for five weeks before making a presentation to a panel judges from the Trust outlining why their charity should receive funding. The judges deemed the presentation by Reach as worthy of the top prize of a £5,000 donation, while the other four charities received a £500 donation.

Heather McDowell, Pastoral Vice Principal at Clounagh Junior High School, said, “The students from CJHS felt privileged to represent their chosen charities, Reach and Aspire to the board of The John Wilson Memorial Trust.

“Each student enjoyed the opportunity to advocate for young people in their own community who benefit from additional support in school which enables them to achieve their full potential. We were delighted that Reach will receive £5000 as a result! The day was interesting and the students particularly enjoyed seeing how Ulster Carpets serve the local and global community from the deign stage right to the production floor. For us it was a highlight of this school year!”

Áine Cushnahan, St John the Baptist’s College, added, “Taking part in The John Wilson Memorial Trust School Charity Project 2023 has been an incredible experience and something we will always remember. We have represented our school and chosen charities with pride, gained confidence and empathy and got closer as a class throughout the process.”

All the pupils also enjoyed a tour of manufacturing facilities at Portadown’s head office as well as learning more about design, health and safety and health and wellbeing as part of their visit.

Dr John Wilson, Chairman of Ulster Carpets and Trustee of the John Wilson Memorial Trust, explained, “When the Trust was established in memory of my father, the idea was to build on his legacy of supporting the community.

“We saw this as an ideal way to connect with young people and help them to understand the important role that charities play in their community. The presentations were of the highest standard and all the pupils should be proud of themselves.”

The positive feedback from all of those involved have encouraged the Trustees to continue the Challenge.

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