We are delighted to announce that we have selected the Multi-Schools Council (MSC) as our official charity partner for 2019. Throughout the year we plan to host a variety of fundraising events that will help MSC work towards their target of raising £100,000 in order to create multi-school councils all across England.
The Multi-Schools Council was founded in 2012 by Kierran Pearce, a teacher at Market Field School in Elmstead Market, with the aim of breaking down negative perceptions towards children with Special Educational Needs, disabilities and mental health difficulties. To help achieve this the MSC hosts child-led events that integrate both special schools and mainstream schools and already works with over 100 schools across Essex.
The charity had been selected by our employees following the successful pitch put forward by Back End Development Lead Ray Carter, whose 18-year-old godson Connell Scholar was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2, and who has not only benefited from the incredible work done by the MSC but in fact now serves as an ambassador for the charity.
Ray commented; “Connell attended Market Field School from the age of 4 and over the years learnt how to communicate, become independent and learn life-skills. As a teenager, he began to understand more about his diagnosis of Autism and decided it was not going to stop him from achieving his ambitions. He left school in 2017 with one of the best GCSE grades in the school’s history and is currently continuing his studies at Colchester Institute.
“Connell has also always been a keen footballer and had a vision to set up a local football team, much closer to home for children with special needs and disabilities. In 2017 his vision became reality when he wrote a letter to Mr Pearce outlining his ideas for a “Multi-Schools Council Football Team” and by the following year the team was up and running with over 30 members. Connell was subsequently awarded the ‘Jack Petchey Award’ for his contributions.”
Upon learning about our initiatives a delighted Connell commented; “I am blown away by the nomination and indescribably grateful for the support GFM will be providing the MSC.”
Kierran Pearce added; “Everyone involved with Multi-Schools Council is thrilled to have been chosen as GFM’s charity partner in 2019. It is particularly poignant that we were nominated by someone at GFM whose wife has provided support to Connell and his family over the last 18 years. Our mission is to break down barriers for children with additional needs and GFM’s support this year will help us make great strides towards achieving this.”
Lastly, Justin Stone, our Development & Wellbeing Manager, stated, “This is the first time at GFM we have looked to fundraise for a specific charity for an entire year and we were overwhelmed by the number of nominations we received by our employees. I think what captured people’s hearts and votes with the Multi-Schools Council, is the opportunity to not only give back to a local charity but also help support a cause that is working towards ensuring that every child’s voice is heard no matter what challenges they face.”
The Multi-Schools Council have also set themselves their own 2019 fundraising challenge to walk to every special school in Essex in just 5 days to raise funds, awareness and put special schools on the map. Donations will ensure that events, projects and mental health training can continue. For more information on the Multi-Schools Council, their challenge and GFM charity initiatives please visit the following sites: