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Lupton Fawcett's Gift to Two Schools

Lupton Fawcett is extremely proud to be part of and sponsor a project which helps support an inspirational project and helps bring awareness to the plight of those less fortunate.

Known as Bambisanani (which is Zulu for working hand in hand) this is the collaboration of two schools, St Mary's Catholic High School, Menston and the Mnyakanya School in Kwa Zulu Natal in South Africa. Using sport as the catalyst which started the partnership back in 2006, both schools learn about international understanding, education, health and leadership as well as raising much needed funds to help with education and health awareness in the Mnyakanya School.

The Partnership has received enthusiastic recognition through the British Council and very recently, through a beautifully designed and illustrated book which highlights the first five years of the partnership, has been included in the prestigious Ilkley Literary Festival.

The project was founded by David Geldart, Assistant Headteacher at St Mary's Catholic High School in Menston. Following several years serving as a Sport England Board member, David was invited by the South African Government to help develop a programme using sport as the catalyst for change. As well as working at national level, David developed a specific link with his own school and Mnyakanya High situated in the rural and deprived Nkandla region of Kwa Zulu Natal. The programme has gained international acclaim for its work using sport to develop education, health, global citizenship and leadership. A key element of the programme is young people from St Mary's mentoring South African students in Leadership skills. David said "our project is about two schools working together and learning together. We have developed an equal and sustainable partnership that is genuinely developing capacity in both communities. The impact on young people is one of the most powerful aspects of education that I have ever seen. The tremendous support from Lupton Fawcett has enabled us to achieve partnership outcomes that many thought impossible a few years ago. We have been delighted to support other schools in the country develop similar partnerships."

Kevin Emsley, Chairman of Lupton Fawcett, comments: "The firm is a major sponsor of this Partnership and I personally have felt drawn to the disadvantages faced by the students at Mnyakanya both from an educational point of view and their lack of understanding with regard to the gravity of HIV. Helping bring awareness to our children, through sport, means that they think more about the difficulties those children in South Africa face every single day rather than facing the dilemma of what clothes to wear and what reality TV programme to watch. There is so much more to be said about this partnership than can be encapsulated in a few words. It is humbling to be able to help, just a little, and I and the firm, will continue our support to its next stage and hopefully through educating other English and South African schools as to the wonders and benefits of collaboration.

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