Fund-raising brings fun to Merchant Taylors' School
On Monday 6 April a nervous Merchant Taylors' and St. Helen's sixth form Phab team awaited the arrival of twenty disabled teenagers whom they would be looking after for the week. The culmination of two terms' hard work raising the £12,000 needed to run the week and the preparations for looking after the guests was finally at an end, and the School had been transformed into a haven for guests and hosts alike.
Within minutes of the arrival of the guests, all doubts and uncertainties were instantly dispelled, and the inevitably happy and exhilarating aura of Phab swelled within the School. After some time to settle in, hosts wasted no time getting to know their guests, before the evening entertainment. The first night’s treat was a petting zoo with the opportunity to get up close and personal with a variety of exotic animals; including bats, owls and even a snake!
“Across the entire week, whether we were tunnelling through the ball pond, or setting off in our minibuses, I don’t think anyone could deny that everyone had the greatest time of it,” said Rohan Gupta of the Lower Sixth hosts.
One day that stood out the most was Wednesday, when Electric Umbrella came to School and transformed MTS into a place filled with laughter, music and smiles. The incredibly talented and enthusiastic Tom Billington, led the dynamic and eccentric quartet that allowed the school to become a treasure hunt of musical instruments accumulating in a huge showcase of what the guests had learned throughout the day.
Electric Umbrella came back at the end of Phab week in order to perform in front of parents of both guests and hosts, Old Phabbers and friends. By the end of the week, as Louis Rose, Upper Sixth Phab member, said, “Saying goodbye to the guests at the end of the week makes you realise how strong a bond you’ve developed with them”.
After the emotional goodbyes, there was '30 minutes decompression time' for the forty sixth form hosts – gratefully welcomed following an emotional and incredible week, that words simply cannot fully express.