A group of lower sixth form pupils and staff members from Dauntsey’s have returned from a visit to the Romanian town of Cernavoda where they showed their support for the Nightingales Children’s Project.

Over 10 days 23 Dauntsey’s pupils and seven members of staff worked with local street children and orphans, ranging in age from six months to 24 years, to run a week-long play scheme. On some days there were as many as 120 children in attendance.

The Dauntsey’s team provided a real treat for the local children with craft, sports, drama, dance and team-building activities as well as parties and themed days.

Most of the children live in poverty and have hugely complex emotional and sometimes behavioural problems. Some are quite severely disabled and many have HIV.

To ensure the trip was a success, the pupils started their fundraising in January. They managed to raise more than £10,000 which financed the week’s activities as well as the renovation of the orphanage’s sports area.

In the past, pupils have chosen to fund a local Romanian girl through university, create a community café, build a play park at the community centre and sponsor girls for the ‘Girls at Risk’ programme.

This year the money was raised through a range of initiatives including a “Night at the Races” auction, car washing and a very popular Nightingales Cookbook developed by the pupils and staff.

Dauntsey’s Nightingales Children’s Project

Elise Chambers, a drama teacher at Dauntsey’s, said: “The Nightingales Children’s Project has been a long standing expedition for Dauntsey’s pupils and holds a special place in our annual calendar. Set up several years ago by Old Dauntseian, Lizzie MacGeagh, it presents one of the biggest emotional and physical challenges to the sixth formers who sign up.

“The pupils have done a wonderful job of raising money for this year’s trip and it was very rewarding to get back to the orphanage, see for ourselves how our past efforts are paying off, and decide how best to spend the new funds.”

To find out more information about Nightingales Children’s Project, visit: nightingaleschildrensproject.co.uk.

For further information about Dauntsey’s School, go to dauntseys.org.