Schools Schools offer a unique opportunity for learning. At CUF, we want to support schools as they teach their students about the communities around them. It has been a joy and a great learning experience for our school. It is important for students to understand the challenges that those in their communities face; the skills that their fellow community members can contribute; and the realities of life for people across England. There are numerous ways that schools can engage with these issues by educating students and offering them the opportunity to give back to the communities, as well. Schools could take part in The Archbishop of Canterbury's Mustard Seed Appeal, the Advent Sleepout Challenge, or by choosing CUF as a charity for the school to support. Moya is the chaplain at Bishop Wand school, who kindly supported us for three years, this is what she had to say about working with CUF, "At Bishop Wand Church of England School we have thoroughly enjoyed supporting CUF as our school charity for three years. It has been a joy and a great learning experience for our school to raise money and also learn about the great work the charity supports throughout the England." Supporting CUF We've really enjoyed working alongside schools to teach them about the work we are doing; allowing them the opportunity to support those in the communities around them; and showing them exactly how their money has helped. Bishop Wand school in Upper Halliford decided to support CUF for three years. They hosted seasonal fundraising activities, had lots of fun raising money, and were able to see how they'd made a difference. Their fantastic work has led to them raising over £13,000 to support communities across the country. The Archbishop of Canterbury's Mustard Seed Appeal As a part of Harvest celebrations, schools across the country are being encouraged to take part in the Archbishop of Canterbury's Mustard Seed Appeal. The appeal has been set up by Archbishop Justin Welby as a part of his work to create a just financial system for everyone. Over 8 million people in the UK are struggling in financial distress. Without access to other finance options, many resort to high cost loans to cover basic necessities such as food and fuel. This is having a devastating effect on physical and mental health, families and entire communities. Pilot work in two regions has formed the beginnings of a ‘Just Finance Network’ to develop community finance and money advice services, and give people the skills they need to make sound financial decisions. This work builds on the Church Credit Champions Network. So far, nearly 200 churches have been mobilised, with over 250 trained volunteers to provide budgeting and debt advice and helping to recruit over 2,300 new credit union members. These two pilot projects alone are expected to generate £2.2 million in social value. Schools can engage with this work through fundraising activities and through a series of online resources for children. The Advent Sleepout Challenge As a part of the Advent period, schools can take part in the Advent Sleepout Challenge. During Advent, people all over England will take the Christmas story as inspiration to create their own Advent ‘stable’ and give up a night of comfort; sleeping out with friends, families, church groups, clubs and community groups. You can join in the fun by organising your own sleepout; you’ll find all the resources you need in our Sleepout Toolkit to make your event simple to organise, fun and safe. The Sleepout Challenge was a huge success in 2015 with multiple youth groups taking part and this year we are putting together a top tips specifically designed to support those who are taking the challenge with a group of kids to be released shortly. If you'd like to support CUF through your school, get in touch with Tim at [email protected] or 0207 898 1452.