Hull Collegiate School highly commended at the TES Independent School Awards

Hull Collegiate School receives national recognition for its Safi Coffee Project

Hull Collegiate School is celebrating after being Highly Commended in the Whole School Initiative of the Year Award at the TES Independent School Awards.

The TES Awards celebrate the most outstanding individuals and institutions that the independent sector has to offer.  Hundreds of independent schools from across the country are eligible for the awards and the shortlisted nominees attended a fantastic awards ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House last weekend. Hull Collegiate School’s Safi Coffee project was shortlisted for the Whole School Initiative of the Year Award.  The Safi Coffee project is a charitable mission born out of the school’s partnership with Great Lakes High School in the Kanungu district of Uganda. 

The scheme sees the school import coffee beans from Kanungu which are then sold to the local community and businesses in the UK. All profits made from the sales are used to give the children of Kanungu vital access to education by providing them with funds to attend school – 50 children are currently being sponsored through Safi Coffee sales.  The fund pays for their education, healthcare, accommodation and uniform.  The scheme also helps to sustain the jobs of hard-working local coffee farmers who are responsible for growing and cultivating the beans. Over the past four years, students and staff at the school have worked diligently to realise the Safi Coffee Project – from sourcing the coffee beans, to arranging adequate transportation, to forming a working relationship with Hull coffee roasters Lincoln and York who roast, grind and package the beans in the UK.

Safi Coffee has grown from strength to strength and the school has managed to secure regular customers, including a London bank and an NHS café.  Having seen the immeasurable impact that the project has had upon students and families in Uganda and in Hull, the school is looking to reach out to more businesses and see the project expand. Chris Wainman, Deputy Head of Hull Collegiate School, and Carrie Mertens, Charities and Trust Coordinator, represented the school at the awards ceremony where the guests were served Safi Coffee itself! Chris Wainman, Deputy Head of Hull Collegiate School and Team Leader of the Safi Coffee Project, said: “It was an honour to be at the awards.  To be recognised for our achievements at this level is fantastic.  I am proud of our students and school community for the hard work and support that is continually given to changing lives in Uganda.” Alex Wilson, Headmistress of Hull Collegiate School, said: ‘’This is a huge achievement.  I am delighted the school has been highly commended for such an important part of our school life.  The Safi Coffee Project is a key component of our commitment to deliver an Education with Character.  It teaches our students a broad range of skills and encourages them to be enterprising, compassionate and responsible individuals.”

Ann Mroz, Editor of the TES, said: “Independent education in this country is truly world-class. It’s one of our great success stories. And the winners for the Tes Independent School Awards are the crème de la crème. “We received a record number of entries this year and the standard is the highest yet, so to be shortlisted is an extraordinary achievement for any school.”

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