First Give Final 2018

@MACS_RS First Give Final - £5,409 Awarded to Ten Charities & Nomination for ‘School of the Year’ at the First Give Awards 2018

On Wednesday July 11th, MACS held the second ever First Give Final in the upper hall. Once again, it proved to be another inspiring, emotional and magical evening which culminated in our school awarding an incredible £5,409 to ten different charities!

 (Hannah Hayman, Delyth Morgan, Laura Bruce – Mencap Cymru, Kia Kinsey, Mollie Phillips and Kia Stephens crowned MACS First Give Champions 2018!)

Over the previous eight weeks in their Religious Studies lessons, the year nine pupils had investigated social issues within the local community and charities which seek to address those problems. The pupils then researched their local charities and interviewed representatives. In class, the pupils compiled a PowerPoint presentation which they then delivered to their peers in a ‘class final’. At the same time, the pupils were tasked with undertaking voluntary social action to (a) raise the profile of their chosen charity within the local community (b) raise funds for their chosen charity.

Mr. Church and Miss. Summers then chose the eight winning class teams to go through to the MACS grand Final. The eight winning teams represented Rowan Tree Cancer Care, LATCH, Mencap Cymru, Samaritans, Merthyr and the Valleys Mind, Cynon Valley PALS, Alzheimer’s Society and Women’s Aid RCT.

In the weeks leading up to the final our pupils undertook an amazing seven hundred and thirteen hours of social action! Pupils knocked on doors, held sponsored events, walked dogs, climbed Pen-Y-Fan, taught in primary schools, taught at sports events, baked and sold cakes, held charity stalls at the school summer fete, took over a local café and washed too many cars to count! The pupils’ tremendous efforts resulted in them raising a MACS record-breaking £4,163.84. A fantastic effort by all! With the £1000 First Give grant to win and the £246 made in the ‘celebrity raffle’ during the final, that all added up to an astonishing £5,409.84 to be given to ten different local charities!

A mammoth two hundred and fifty four people were in attendance for the grand Final, including thirty nine charity representatives and Mrs. Louisa Searle, the Director of First Give (who had travelled all the way from London).  So many people, during the heatwave and all whilst England were playing in the semi-final of the football world cup! The evening began with a welcome from MACS Headteacher, Mrs. S. Evans followed by a Star Wars themed introduction to the night, that handed over to our host for the evening Mr. Leon Ward (Leading First Give in Wales and the West). Mr. Ward then introduced our panel of judges for the evening that included; Keiron Thomas (Head Boy), Hannah Madhaven (Head Girl), Mrs. R. Youseff (Head of PSE and First Give Coordinator at Radyr Comprehensive), Mr. D. Mead (Deputy Headteacher), Mrs. L. Mackie (Assistant Headteacher) and our celebrity judge -Woody from Heart FM!

Mr. Church (Head of Religious Studies & First Give Coordinator) then spoke about the amazing record-breaking efforts of our pupils and linked in to a special breaking news report from Jagger & Woody at Heart FM who explained the First Give programme to the audience and injected some humour into the nights proceedings at the expense of (and good humour of) Mr. Mead and Mrs. Mackie!

Lowri Tedstone (Y10) and Nicole Walker (Y10) both spoke about the impact of First Give at MACS last academic year, their experiences of winning the grand prize of £1000 for Women’s Aid RCT, continuing their links with the charity, attending the First Give Awards at City hall in London and attending WE Day at Wembley arena in March. Conor Acteson (Y13) and Lowri Morgan (Y13) also spoke about the impact of First Give for them as both pupils and charity representatives.

Through the First Give program, MACS was introduced to the WE movement and the ‘Virgin Atlantic – Be the Change Scholarship’. Nicole, Conor and Lowri entered the competition to win one of just thirty places this summer across the UK to visit Rajasthan, India to help build a school or sink a well this summer. Out of over three hundred applications, all three of our pupils were successful! They had a surprise as a congratulations video message from WE HQ was screened to them!

Mr. Church then introduced a number of surprise video messages of good luck from ’Wales to London to Hollywood’. The audience were treated to clips of Daniel Cutting (5 X Guinness World Record holder, professional football freestyler), Sophie Ingle (Wales women’s seniors football captain), Garin Jenkins (Wales rugby forward, capped 58 times), Michael Sheen (Hollywood actor), Richard Jones (Fireroad lead singer) and even a Sir Tom Jones tribute artist (A.K.A Dean ‘buzz’ Jones).

The pupils’ presentations got underway with a special presentation from Tammy Cowell and Olivia Griffiths (Y8) who took part in the programme a year early, presenting for ‘Cancer Research UK’. After the eight winning Y9 teams had given their presentations and answered two questions each from the judges, a well-earned and needed intermission loomed. Whilst the judges deliberated who would win the public speaking competition, the audience members bought raffle tickets for the celebrity raffle.

(Woody from Heart FM with ‘Nia’ the Gnome!)     

After the intermission audience members excitedly won signed photos from Coldplay, Kylie Minogue, Daniel Craig and Liam Gallagher amongst others. And all from the ‘draw master’ Woody from Heart FM! MACS handed over cheques totalling £460 to Heart FM’s ‘Globals’ Make Some Noise’ charity appeal from our Y9, Y10 and Y13 pupils. Woody very kindly offered the £246 raised in the raffle to be split between all the charities represented on the night.

The pupils were then invited to hand over the cheques to their charity representatives. It was heart-warming to see the charities rewarding our pupils with gifts of thanks for their wonderful efforts that included chocolates, goodie bags, shopping vouchers, jewellery and flowers!

It was then over to Mr. Mead (Head Judge) to give some feedback on the pupils presentations before the winners were announced. Not only would the pupils win £1000 grant for their chosen charity, but they would also guarantee themselves a ticket to the ‘First Give Awards’ being held at the Senedd in September and a ticket to ‘WE Day’ at Wembley arena in March (where the pupils will be addressed by royalty, actors and motivational speakers as well as being treated to performances by pop stars).

Mrs. Mackie presented judges ‘commendations’ awards to Megan Jones, Libby Morris, Surraya Cetin and Casey Bowen for speaking bravely and passionately about why they had chosen their respective charities. Nicole Walker was awarded the ‘Outstanding Pupil of the Year Award’ and Lowri Morgan received the ‘Outstanding Charity of the Year Award’ for her work with pupils representing Cynon Valley PALS. Mr. Leon Ward led the audience in a drum roll as Mencap Cymru were announced as the £1000 winners!

A huge congratulations to Hannah Hayman, Kia Kinsey, Delyth Morgan, Mollie Phillips and Kia Stephens who presented so passionately and enthusiastically on the evening. They even answered the Judges questions with good humour! The girls undertook an incredible ninety one hours of social action, raising a wonderful £624 for their charity! They were very well deserved winners! This meant that Mencap Cymru took home an amazing £1,651 in total from our evening! Tears were shed and there were screams of delight, from the pupils, proud teachers and very proud parents!

(Mr. Leon Ward announcing the £1000 First Give winners and Woody from Heart FM presenting the cheque to our pupils)                                            

After a round of thanks to those involved in putting on another inspiring, emotional and magical evening, the final came to a close.

Just last week, MACS received some incredible news from First Give HQ in London. MACS has been nominated in the ‘School of the Year’ category and we have made the final four schools out of one hundred and ninety schools across England and Wales who take part in the programme. This is a tremendous honour for our school, the incredible work of our pupils, our inspirational staff, the many wonderful charity partners this year and all involved in our grand Final. Our fingers are crossed for September 27th when all will be revealed!

Our evening was filmed by Blue Stag productions, very generously funded by the Trustees of the First Give programme. When ready, the link to the film will be posted on the MACS website and on the RS twitter page @MACS_RS.                

Enjoy and relive the memories one and all!                                                                           

@MACS_RS First Give Final 2019 – Wednesday July 17th 5.30 p.m. – 7. 30 p.m.