Happy New Year – 2022 – to all our dear Families, Friends and Sponsors.
Well, we certainly had a long slog through 2021 with coronavirus but with blood, sweat and the odd teardrop we pressed on regardless of the restrictions, the pressures and the hitches.
2021, was the start of another successful year at Accoutre but through it all we still managed to implement new projects; sat on numerous Zooms; was part of panels; was “The” guest speaker; interviewed new staff and we ourselves were also interviewed. Highlights of 2021? … let me share a few:
Awards Ceremony - ``Very Impressive``
This was a fantastic celebration of our children and their achievements. Angie Le Mar, TV personality, with other illustrious, guests was our host. Nominees received an Accoutre certificate and a very stylish stylus pen. The Chair’s live draw saw 5 fortunate runners-up receive Amazon vouchers, but the prizes did not stop there….1 person received a Samsung Tablet, a kind donation from one of our board members.
BBQ “Cheers to Accoutre Centre for Learning!”
It was a good time to just chill and grill. This was our annual end of the year – social distancing – BBQ with our board members and teachers. We don’t often get a chance to socialise but this was a super treat. We gorged and chomped on steak, sausages, seafood, veggie bites….everything always tastes better grilled and when you chill out with friends it’s tastes even better. One of our consultants, Patricia Li, surprised us with a bespoke bit of deliciousness – a sumptuous chocolate cream cake – a nice return for all our exploits and endeavours during the tough academic year.
Tesco shop and drop
An application that we made to Tescos charity division was accepted. We encouraged our families to shop at set Tescos local. Shopping helped to maximise our funding and shoppers simply had to drop a blue coin into the charity box to boost our chances of winning.
We had a number of speakers pass through our doors: a local GP; an up and coming photographer; a spoken word poet; a (previous) BBC correspondent; a physio (who specialises in black history and who has featured on TV) and our brilliant historians both resident and visiting. Our historians presented their subject, as always, with passion, confidence and bought the subject alive, whilst encouraging our learners to develop their own habit of critically looking at and questioning history; conducting their own deep dive reading and thus becoming critical thinkers in the process.
Christmas Card Competition 2021
A young inspiring artist Adedoyin Omowon, age 9, won our Christmas card competition that we launched in the later part of last year. Her artistic piece illustrated what Christmas means to her: family intimacy, presents and a time to jubilate and be together. She combined the Christmas colours red, green and yellow to create a card that depicts fun warmth and the overall Christmas spirit.
We were delighted that Merton Council has agreed to highlight Adedoyin and her winning entry onto their website – My Merton (thank you, Mark Allison, leader of Merton Council).
Her card was our official Christmas card of the year. This was sent out to most of our families, sponsors and supporters.
Christmas Scheme Collaboration HAF
We received HAF (Holiday Activity and Food Programme) funding from Merton Council. This is a brilliant scheme, the brainchild of Marcus Rashford, Manchester United footballer, which supports children with food and various activities over the school holiday.
We collaborated with another project and our children took part in a number of fun activities leading up to Christmas. Accoutre children enjoyed the team building, practical skills, resilience and decision and problem-solving activities. Lunch was provided. It was a great opportunity for the children to develop new interests and talents. Adding to this, meeting some of our families was awesome!
Even More Children
Above everything, throughout the year new children joined both the Primary and Secondary schools. It is always wonderful to see new names and faces. We know that the Accoutre programme could not exist without our wonderful children and their family/carers’ input.
So we finished the year with a trip to Wimbledon Theatre to see Dick Whittington (and his trusty cat Tommy). Shane Richie, Eastender’s “Alfie”, played Mr Whittington. It was the usual slapstick humour but the audience roared (and so did I) with laughter. It was great to see many of our families and teachers in attendance. A huge thank you to one of our board members and Merton for providing us with the free tickets.
Lastly, what is there left for me to say but a huge THANK YOU to our many wonderful Teachers/Tutors and Administrators….and our Instagram Girl! They keep the project ticking over and come back each year. I am always humbled by your dedication, support and love for the project. We have hand-picked the best of the best!
2022 is now a new chapter for us, so stay tuned for more exciting news!!
We look forward to another eventful year and look forward to you joining us.