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One of the positives of the Coronavirus crisis has been the communities created and nurtured whilst we were physically separate. Indeed, it is thought that over 12 million people have volunteered in Britain alone, with more than 4 million people volunteering for the first time. In this spirit, one Eton pupil decided to organise a fundraiser for Save the Children, which has so far raised over £15,000. Press Office Thomas Hilditch spoke to Jamie Ginsberg about his amazing efforts.

What does Save the Children do?

Save the Children is a wonderful  charity that focuses on children in need around the world undergoing crises. For example, in the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami, Save the Children offered immediate medical help for children in need of support, and provided long term support through food relief, accommodation and education. In our fundraiser, we are supporting the work of Save the Children in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, where children’s lives have been ravaged by war and poverty, and child immigrants in Mexico.

What did your ‘Save the Children Fundraiser 2021’ consist of?

The fundraiser consisted of either a 35km row, a 45km cycle or a 25km run over a day. The response we received was terrific and I was really inspired to see how many people pushed the boundaries. Oscar Eddis, who cycled 100km and Arthur Scott, who cycled 60km and rowed 40km over two days, were inspiring. Even the rowers, meeting on Zoom ahead of the day’s event, encouraged each other to extend the distance to row a full marathon. It was so great to see everyone come together, even during lockdown.

What was your inspiration behind the endeavour?

My personal inspiration came from the period of reflection of lockdown, and the awful thought that some children are born unequal, with many suffering hunger, abuse and conflict. What I saw when I volunteered in Cambodia and Laos was so moving, but it was children who weren’t able to attend school, who were forced to beg for food that stuck with me. Access to education is something we can take for granted, so I wanted to use our voice to raise awareness of child poverty, and make a difference through fundraising.

What response did you get to your fundraiser?

We had brilliant responses. As it stands, 64 pupils volunteered, spanning all year groups and all sporting abilities, along with parents and six teachers. Eton was hugely supportive, and helped in spreading the word as well giving pupils access to facilities to complete the event. As it currently stands, we collected over £18,500 in donations, smashing through our original target of £15,000.  

It has been wonderful to see all the support and strength Eton community has shown the fundraiser, exhibiting a message of care and unity, even in trying times.

Jamie Ginsberg, Save the Children Fundraiser