Rachel Moberly, Year 13, had her head shaved on Friday 7 April to raise money for Plan UK, which helps fund the safe education of girls internationally.
The radical haircut, which left Rachel completely bald, was carried out in front of an audience of 450 girls and staff, as well as being filmed and live streamed on Facebook.
Rachel’s fundraising target was £1k, which would have been enough to educate 10 girls for a year. However, a number of generous donations and a bucket collection during the event helped Rachel to surpass her target.
Rachel explained her bold decision to shave off her hair, saying, “I really wanted to do my bit for Plan UK this year as it is my last at Newcastle High. I’ve gained so much from my time at school that I wanted to give other girls the chance to enjoy an education. I knew that if I could raise £1000 then I’d be able to sponsor the education of ten girls for a year. Shaving my head seemed like a small price to pay.”
Carrs of Jesmond, a local barber located near Newcastle High, volunteered their services, cutting and clipping Rachel’s head, together with the beard of RS and Philosophy teacher, Mr Wilson.
The day before Rachel’s head shaving, on Thursday 6 April, the whole school took part in a sponsored walk, with girls from Year 5 to Sixth Form completing a 10km walk from Jesmond to the Gateshead Millennium Bridge and back. Newcastle High were also joined by pupils and staff from their partner primary schools Richardson Dees in Wallsend and West Denton. The distance was symbolic, as 10km is the average distance girls in developing countries have to walk to get water each day, even before they can contemplate going to school.
The two days of fund raising activities at Newcastle High were all in aid NHSG’s continued support of Plan UK, which works to improve educational opportunities for girls around the world.
In addition to the 10km walk and the head shaving, there were also more traditional fundraising activities including cake sales and a staff sponging, where members of staff volunteered to get soaked with wet sponges in aid of charity. This year, while the girls were taking part in the 10km walk, Newcastle High organised for parents and friends to take part in a Charity Golf Day at Close House with all money raised going to Plan UK.
Graham Wylie, owner of Close House, whose daughters attend Newcastle High said, “At Close House we’re delighted to be playing our part in Newcastle High’s fundraising efforts by hosting the Golf Day. Plan UK is a great charity and works tirelessly to give girls the world over the opportunities that many in the UK take for granted, including an education. My girls are extremely fortunate to be happy and thriving at Newcastle High and it is great for them, along with their school friends, to be raising money and awareness for Plan UK. I hope the golfers have a great day and raise lots of money for the charity.”
Mrs French has been a Plan UK supporter for several years and visited two education projects launched by the charity in Uganda in 2015. Commenting on this year’s fundraising Hilary said, “We are extremely proud of all our girls for their fundraising efforts but are in total awe of Rachel and her commitment to the charitable cause. Plan UK does a tremendous job raising money to improve the opportunities for girls around the world. Knowing how privileged we are at Newcastle High it is wonderful to do something as a whole school to create educational opportunities for hundreds of girls whose lives and circumstances may be different but whose aspirations are the same.”