Pupils and staff from St Alban’s Catholic High School in Ipswich have become the first school in East Anglia to achieve a LiveSimply Award after taking action to demonstrate they are living simply, sustainably and in solidarity with the poor.
Bishop Alan Hopes visited the school to present the award and open the school prayer garden on Thursday July 14.
Championed by overseas development charity CAFOD, the school achieved the award after the whole school community implemented a number of exceptional projects that highlighted the importance of caring for people and the planet. Their actions not only had a positive impact on their school community but also reached out to embrace the local community and our global community.
CAFOD’s LiveSimply assessor, Joe Burns from Leeds Diocese, congratulated the school saying: “Working towards a LiveSimply award has clearly had a significant and ongoing impact at all levels within this school. The students, of all ages, were bubbling with ideas of what else they could do to take living simply, sustainably and in solidarity with the poor forward. The full support of the headteacher and hard work of the coordinator and lay chaplain will ensure that more staff and students become engaged and enthusiastic about continuing this work in future years. The award is very well-deserved.”
Jane Crone from CAFOD in East Anglia, who knows the school well, added: “One of the highlights for me has been watching the development of the prayer garden project over the course of this school year. The community has worked together to create a place for contemplation in the heart of the school. The project has enabled LiveSimply to reach out into the wider community as the benches were made in the workshop of a local prison.’
One year 7 student from the Eco Team commented on why they took part in the LiveSimply Award: “The award has given me a purpose. I belong to the eco warrior club and I help care for the school environment. I have made lots of new friends and enjoy implementing positive change. It has helped me grow and develop as an individual.”
Vanessa Williamson, Head of Geography, led the LiveSimply journey alongside the school chaplain, Katherine Edwards. She said: “I’d sum up our journey this year with these thoughts. The greatest wealth is to live content with little. Adopt the pace of nature. The secret is patience.”
If you’d like to find out more about the LiveSimply Award for Schools take a look at CAFOD’s website here.