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It is a tragedy that many young children do not get the opportunity to live a normal childhood, feel safe or a chance of a good education.
At the Royal Alexandra and Albert School we currently have over 100 vulnerable children, many from families who have lost a loved one or have a parent who is chronically ill, and some are suffering from mental illness. All these things affect their ability to look after their child’s daily needs. They rely on charitable donations to give them a chance to live a happy childhood.
Please take a moment to read this inspiring story from one of our Foundationers.
'One of my favourite things about education is that everyone has an individual perspective and experience which I believe is hugely important in creating powerful individuals. This led to me thinking, what did my school mean to me? After thinking about this for some time, The Royal Alexandra and Albert school to me is a physical representation of the idea that ‘no child gets left behind’ and my journey is a clear example of this.
When I started, back in 2013 I had never been away from home or my family. I had only had a week's notice before I had to start here and had no idea what to expect. I had been a young carer for my mum and siblings since I was 7 years old.
My first day here was one that will remain vivid in my memory forever, I joined an environment where I was being cared for by staff and I was welcomed with open arms. Being at RAA allowed me to have a childhood and experience a range of activities I would have never been able to do. I joined the Netball and Rounders team and even started a girl's football team. For the first time I was able to enjoy things, without being worried about my home life. Before joining boarding my attendance was extremely low, as often I would remain home to help with my family. Being in boarding allowed me to focus on school and living a normal life for a 9 year old.
I have also been lucky enough to go on residential trips to France, Belgium and The Netherlands and weekend trips such as Thorpe Park.
As well as this, through the school's foundation programme my two younger sisters are now a part of the school and are able to look forward to all of the exciting memories yet to come. It has also meant I have got to spend more time with them in a fun and relaxed environment, being able to build a strong relationship with both of them. I could not be more grateful to have that opportunity.
I decided to stay at RAA for my A Levels because I knew that I would have the support of teachers that already knew me and the sixth form boarding facilities are amazing, this is when I found my passion for the study of psychology. I have no family history of attending university, or of having a career as opposed to a job to get by. I came to boarding school to find comfort, and feel secure. I have always felt I owed more than I could ever return. I have spent my time grateful just to be here. I didn’t dare hope for anything more. But now, I do. I am no longer restraining my aspirations or limiting my own ambitions. My immediate aspiration is to successfully undertake my A Level exams and achieve the AAA that I have been predicted. After which, I intend on commencing my studies at Durham University and to subsequently earn a First Class Honours Bachelor of Science in Psychology. A further aspiration of mine is to undertake post graduate study. I have researched a number of different courses which I feel would lead me to the career path I am most interested. Once such course is the MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice at Oxford University. There are many graduate opportunities open upon the completion of this master’s degree, though I feel most drawn to criminal justice agencies and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
I will leave school having relearnt everything I thought I knew about myself and what I deserved. I know I can rely on people, that they will support and encourage me. They have had faith in my abilities before I even considered I had any. They have not limited me to any future based on my postcode or circumstances, and now nor do I. They have only the highest expectations for me, and now I do too.
RAA is not just an academic institution, it is a home. It has provided me with lifelong memories as well as a family I will cherish forever. I am honoured to have been a student here'.
You can help other young children have the same opportunity
You will be giving them a chance to enjoy their childhood and reach their full potential by providing them with a safe and nurturing learning environment with strong support structures tailored to their needs.
Many of our Foundationers have thrived at school, exceeding in academic expectations but more importantly they have felt safe, secure and happy being able to live a normal childhood.
Please support a child today to change their future