06.03.2024 Educator Insights Student Success Story

Beckfoot School Students’ Super Social Action 

Students plan multiple social action activities in aid of local charity

First Give offers young people an opportunity to speak about the social issues impacting their local communities, encouraging them to be more socially active, altruistic citizens. Our core programme takes students on a journey as we ask young people to identify a social issue that matters to them and pick a suitable local charity to support. From there, the students carefully research and develop their own thoughtful social action projects in aid of their chosen charities. This marks the halfway point in the First Give programme, and it was at this point that I caught up with students from Beckfoot School, a secondary school in Bingley, West Yorkshire. 

Beckfoot School is a long-term partner of First Give, and they have been delivering a high standard of First Give programmes since 2019. Starting in the Autumn term, this year’s Year 8 students are off to a fantastic start, and it was the students’ social action activities that saw us visiting the school to find out more. 

Everyone is involved 

I had the opportunity to speak with Miss Lowde, one of the class teachers delivering the First Give programme this year, who’s class have chosen a local baby bank – POPI – to support as part of their First Give project. “First Give makes students think” she says. “It’s important that opportunities like this are available to everyone, and my classroom is a thriving, busy and happy place every time we come together for First Give. Some of my students have really come alive through the programme, and every single person in the class is getting involved. I got into teaching to do something different and do something positive. Teaching RE, I want to teach young people to be kinder and more understanding of other people and their experiences. First Give has given us a chance to do that together”. Miss Lowde’s students agree, as one student says:

“spending time in tutor doing fun things together [has been my favourite part of the programme so far]. I look forward to Wednesdays.”


Miss Lowde’s class is a diverse, mixed ability tutor group including some students with additional needs. It’s important that the First Give programme is inclusive, and there has been a distinct whole class effort here, demonstrating that everyone can contribute meaningfully through the programme. The students have embraced the opportunity to learn more about a social issue that they care about and have reported some additional benefits of doing the programme too. As noted by one student: “[The First Give programme means my class can] get to know each other more. I didn’t really talk to some people before, but I do now” (N.O). Miss Lowde agrees: “We’ve really bonded, coming together like this”. 

How did you choose your social issue and charity? 

I learned that her Year 8 students were inspired by how much POPI Baby Bank does in the local community. “They want to give it a louder voice and a bigger platform. They liked how POPI had a really simple referral process. No red tape”, Miss Lowde says, reflecting on the charity. “It was actually one of my students – Poppy – who found them. The more they researched, the more they got interested in supporting them.” 

When asked what made them want to support POPI Baby Bank, students responded: 

“All children should have a great start in life because they are the future of the world. They are also close to us and easily accessible- supporting a small charity in our community is great.”


“I wanted to help so we could support parents who need help looking after themselves and their children. They deserve help.”


“Some babies and young people don’t even have basic needs [met] and this is getting worse. I had a really nice childhood and want to help other children have one too.”


Thoughtful social action 

What’s made Miss Lowde’s class stand out so far is the level of commitment they’ve demonstrated through their social action, as they’ve planned and fulfilled multiple different fundraisers to raise awareness for POPI. 

I asked students about their social action projects, and each reported on a different element of their hard work, all of which have been thoughtfully linked back to their social issue. From a baby drive collection project to some Halloween themed fundraisers, a milk bottle challenge, and a reverse advent, the students have amassed a phenomenal collection for the charity.  

Miss Lowde supported the students to arrange a drop off of their collection at POPI Baby Bank in time for Christmas. “The charity were blown away by the work of the students and really happy about the impact it will have on our local community” shared Miss Lowde. Rachel, who is a Trustee and volunteer at POPI, added “It has been a pleasure to work with Ms Lowde and the students in her tutor group at Beckfoot. Throughout, they have been respectful and considerate, taking into account the specific needs of our charity, thinking of innovative ways to fundraise and collect the essentials so many families need, as well as organising the donations in a way that has made it easy for us to utilise… These donations have already helped a number of local families in need, and will continue to make a real difference to many more families over the coming weeks and months. The support from this class and everyone who has donated is truly appreciated. Thank you.” 

Miss Lowde’s students are a wonderful testament to the First Give mission and values, and we can’t wait to see what they do in 24/25.