Earlier this month, the Thames Valley Learning Partnership (TVLP) worked together to organise a baby box charity drive. It was incredibly successful and masses of donations were collected amongst the participating schools. It was a great privilege for Eton to be involved and take part in such an excellent enterprise.

The initiative was originally conceived by two girls from St Joseph’s Catholic High School, Slough, who realised that many new mothers often struggle to gather the necessary resources to take optimal care of their newborn babies. Baby items are notoriously expensive and some companies make sure to capitalise on the perceived necessity of their products. The girls passionately believed that all families should have access to the necessary items regardless of situation.

The first step of the charity drive was collecting donations. These would then be organised into boxes so that each box contained a range of necessary items. At this point, the plan was for the boxes to be given to an organisation (a local baby bank) that allocates to the boxes to those most in need.

The girls mobilised numerous schools by sharing their idea at the TVLP forums (at which school send their two TVLP representatives). The TVLP is a fantastic organisation that organises events and orchestrates such initiatives throughout all its member schools and in doing so, fosters a greater sense of community within the region.

After the TVLP Forums, it became the role of the TVLP representatives to collect donations at their respective schools. Eton’s representatives, Akshan R (Year 12) and Henry B (Year 12), recognised that the nature of items required meant that boys were unlikely to have their own donations. Instead, they decided there would be more success amongst the wider Eton College Community as many may have baby items that they no longer required. Thus, a message was circulated highlighting the cause.

This proved rather successful with many members of the community donating items that they no longer required. After many weeks of organising collections, the boys accumulated over 20kg of donations.

In turn, these were passed on the girls from St Joseph’s who sorted all the items from the numerous schools into boxes before handing the boxes over to the baby bank.

Many thanks go to all the wonderful individuals who gave donations, to all the other schools that took part and to the girls of St Joseph’s for organising this brilliant project. The full extent of the collections can be seen in the picture above.

Needless to say, all donations were greatly appreciated and have now been put to good use!