Eton Action

Eton Action is an independent charity conceived and founded by Etonians to promote charitable activity and social responsibility among boys. Its activities consist primarily in raising money for and supporting charities other than Eton College itself. It is still run primarily by boys: an executive committee of boys governs the charity under the guidance of the chairman, secretary and treasurer, who are Masters. Trustees are drawn from current senior staff.

Eton Action is divided into four subcommittees, with boy Secretaries who lead each one.

Fundraising

The Eton Action Community Fair, which usually takes place on a Saturday in September, is the largest fundraising event of the year.  The boys manage the day as stallholders, musicians, entertainers, gatekeepers, and carpark attendants, among many other roles. They are joined by more than 50 local charities as well as a range of artisan producers. Over 80 stalls provide visitors with a range of games and activities as well as food, drink, bric-a-brac and distinctive handicraft. Additional attractions include live music and an upmarket jumble sale in School Hall. Individual boys’ houses also run a variety of activities, which have in the past included cream teas, tours of the college, musical entertainments, and even a bouncy castle. The income from all these events is pooled and divided between charitable foundations and projects chosen by students and staff.

Other fundraising events, such as Mufti Day, sponsored runs, swim-a-thons, etc. continue throughout the school year.

For the academic year 2020-21, Eton Action will be supporting: Glassdoor Homeless Charity, Teenage Cancer Trust, ACE Africa, The Felix Project, and Schoolreaders.

Charities seeking Eton Action’s financial support for next year must apply in writing (email is not an acceptable substitute) to the Treasurer, including details of their annual accounts. Charities are chosen in February, and confirmation will be sent only to successful applicants.

The contact address is: The Treasurer, Eton Action, Eton College, Windsor, Berks, SL4 6DW.

Volunteering & Community Engagement

The Eton Action boy-led committee serves as a forum for boy perspectives on volunteering placements through the Community Engagement program. They seek out new volunteering opportunities, e.g in the holidays or for younger blocks, and help with training for boys starting on volunteering placements. They also work to promote volunteering in the school, all whilst helping to organise events for the local community such as the Founder’s Day Christmas Tea Party.

Social Impact Society

The boy Secretaries of the Social Impact Society invite speakers who can educate students on global sustainability and social action, and lead discussion groups on social impact and social issues. These are held on Monday evenings and are open to all of the Eton College community. In the last year, 13 events took place where students heard from leaders of national and international charities, social entrepreneurs, and their fellow students on the topic of climate change.

Prizes

The Prizes Committee assists with the planning, promotion, and running of three prizes to encourage all boys to engage in social action and community engagement. For the Social Impact Challenge, boys are invited to propose a charity for Eton Action to support and must engage with the organisation by volunteering, fundraising, and/or raising awareness of the issue the charity’s work is focused on. The Khemka Prize, founded by Mr Uday Khemka OE (RJGP, ‘83) rewards innovation, creativity, and social entrepreneurship by inviting boys to propose a solution to a social problem, local or global. The goal of this prize is to encourage boys to think like social entrepreneurs and develop a plan or business proposal for their potential solution. Finally, the Birchall Prize, founded by Major Sir John Dearman Birchall TD in honour of his son who attended Eton, is an essay prize where boys in each block submit a piece of reflective writing about a social action project they have undertaken within the last 12 months.