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June 21st 2023

Blackheath High Sixth Formers are the bees-knees

On 14 June, myself and several other Year 12 students had the very special opportunity to volunteer at the Bee Garden Party fundraiser for the charity Bees for Development, a ‘specialist beekeeping charity with a unique purpose - to make life better with bees’. They use the benefits of beekeeping to help people out of poverty in many countries throughout the globe whilst promoting biodiversity. The charity has a particular focus on supporting those facing inequality such as people with disabilities, minority indigenous people, women and girls.  

The fundraiser took place at Marlborough House Gardens and involved many notable guests including the President of Bees for Development, Queen Camilla. Other famous guests included Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith and actress/singer Elaine Paige. There was also a bee art auction and online prize auction as well as a live auction, the proceeds from which all towards benefiting Bees for Development. 

We had several roles during this fundraiser, the first of which involved greeting guests with programmes and guiding them to their tables, which really helped develop my communication. We also had to ask attendees for donations or bids for the auctions, which improved my confidence and allowed me to gain some fundraising experience. I was really proud to be able to secure several ‘motorbike honey donations’, a scheme which encouraged guests to make a donation towards motorbikes for the charity’s team in Uganda. Having more motorbikes would allow the team to successfully reach hard-to-access parts of rural Uganda. 

When requesting donations, myself and the other volunteers often collaborated to ask people in pairs or delegated ourselves specific areas to work in to gain the maximum amount of donations. We were also able to assist in sorting and handing out prizes from the auction, another great opportunity to develop interpersonal and teamworking skills. Alongside this, we helped event set-up and take down, giving us an insight into the logistical elements of event management.  

Overall, volunteering at the Bees for Development Garden Party Fundraiser was a great experience which has allowed myself and the other volunteers to help contribute to a cause which simultaneously supports biodiversity and alleviates poverty, all while gaining useful skills. 

Written by Beatrix, Year 12, Head Student Team 

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