New Hall Steps Up to the Plate

Date Posted: Friday 24 July 2020

During these unprecedented times, New Hall has come together to support the nation and local community in the most remarkable of ways.  Reflecting the School’s ethos of care and service, New Hall has taken action with many initiatives over the past few months in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

In addition to producing over 200 face shields for the School’s local hospital, Broomfield Hospital, New Hall School has donated a large amount of protective equipment to local care homes.  These initiatives have been commended by new outlets:  Principal, Katherine Jeffrey, said: “The selflessness and hard work of the staff has provided some much-needed relief to the local community and The School’s Art, Design & Technology Department have done a fantastic job designing and manufacturing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for frontline key workers battling the virus.”

New Hall’s award-winning voluntary service, NHVS, has continued its 40-year tradition of giving service to those in need in the local community.  Whilst clubs such as lunches for the elderly and support groups for vulnerable adults have been unable to run in person, New Hall has provided ongoing support and care, through home deliveries, Zoom/Skype calls and letter writing to all the members of its weekly action groups.

Various members of the community have participated in several sporting challenges to raise money for NHS Charities Together.  Isla-Rose Onions (Year 1) ran 26km over the month of May, raising a total of £870, including Gift Aid.  Miss Beatty, teacher of English, took part in the 2.6 challenge, walking 2.6 miles for 26 days to raise money for the Little Edi Foundation, despite being eight months pregnant!

Accompanying these efforts, the School’s Senior Prefect Team banded together and walked/ran/cycled 5614km (approximately the distance from New Hall to Times Square in New York) over a period of 30 days, to raise money for NHS Charities Together.  James Alderson, Head of Sixth Form, said: “The challenge was an excellent opportunity for Sixth Form students to keep fit and stay connected, while serving the community.  The team raised a total of £3,604 and covered an impressive distance of 5727km!”.

The Art Department has contributed to the NHS heroes portrait initiative, with a dozen students and various teachers creating over 60 portraits of Key Workers, to be exhibited in the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh in due course.

New Hall School remained open to key worker children continually from March.  With a plethora of activities on offer, from golf lessons and croquet, to painting and animal welfare, the School’s ‘Key Worker Childcare Scheme’ provided much-needed support to NHS and frontline key workers, as well as ensured that the children continued their studies and self-development.

New Hall’s large and vibrant Chaplaincy has continued to support the prayer life of the School and local community.  Fr Martin Hardy, New Hall’s Chaplain, has regularly live-streamed Mass from the magnificent and historic Chapel.  Principal, Katherine Jeffrey, said: “New Hall’s Chaplaincy Team and Theology Department have created an imaginative and moving set of ‘Remote Liturgies’, which have been valued by our community during these unprecedented and difficult times.  These have helped people to stay connected, as well as supported in prayer.  This has been especially important at a time when many have suffered isolation and loneliness and others are struggling with illness and bereavement.”  New Hall is also creating a memorial orchard, in the fields in front of the stunning former Tudor palace that forms the School’s main building.

New Hall School was the first independent school nationally to sponsor a state primary academy.  Throughout lockdown, New Hall continued with its public benefit work running the successful New Hall Multi-Academy Trust.