News Story Home Banner
News Story Home Banner


Sixth Form students from Amethyst Class at Ifield School Gravesend have joined forces to support ellenor, a charity providing care and support to individuals living with life limiting conditions. Amidst the hustle and bustle of academic life, these students, with special educational needs, discovered profound lessons in empathy and entrepreneurship.

Under the guidance of Assistant Headteacher and Sixth Form Lead, Sam Hargood, these young people took ownership of a biscuit and cake sale, showcasing their capabilities from conception to execution. From planning and baking to advertising the event, every step was a testament to their dedication.


Assistant Headteacher and Sixth Form Lead, Sam Hargood said: “It was about giving these young people a voice. They planned everything, they bought the ingredients and made the biscuits, and presented their ideas about who they would like to raise money for.”


“After the sale, Tina, a fundraiser from ellenor came to receive the money. She told students in Amethyst Class all about what ellenor does and how their contribution would be used. This interaction also provided an opportunity for the students to explore potential career paths. Talking to employers really helps them understand what work might be available. It gets them thinking about the skills they have and what they could do in the future.”


Ifield School provides specialised education for children and young people aged 4 to 19 with profound, severe and complex learning needs, including communication and interaction difficulties. Its Sixth Form is based at the LINK Centre (Learning with Ifield and North Kent) and operates from North Kent College in Gravesend. Tailored to support student’s learning and medical needs, the LINK Centre serves as a vital resource. Many students go on to other colleges or employment following their time at Ifield School.


The Sixth Formers’ biscuit and cake sale aimed to encourage students to plan and promote their own money-raising venture. It was overseen by Teaching Assistant Tina Philpot, and the students in Amethyst Class chose ellenor because one of the students has a sister who works for the charity. The 16- to 19-year-olds are all on an Employability Pathway and working towards their ASDAN community award.

Sam explained: “It’s about giving the students the ability to work more independently and come up with their own ideas. Giving them autonomy for a project also motivates them to solve problems, with our support.”


The bake sale not only promoted community engagement and empowerment between the students and ellenor but also raised vital funds for people living with life limiting illnesses and their families. In addition to its fundraising aspect, the event provided valuable experiences for young people.


ellenor’s community fundraising officer, Tina Dyson went along to Ifield School to accept the £50 raised and met the 16 Sixth Formers during their student briefing.


Sam said: “Tina talked to us about how the money would be used. The young people we have here all have additional and special educational needs and disabilities. We often carry out fundraising for our own school, but it is good to support such a worthy charity like ellenor which aligns with our commitment to community involvement.”


“Tina told us about the new Wellbeing Centre being built at ellenor and suggested we come along to take a look when it’s finished, and we will definitely take her up on that. It’s important for the students to understand ellenor’s services. When they visit, they will see it first hand – these students could be future fundraisers, future employees – and it’s a very worthy cause.”


“It’s important to talk about caring for people who are at the end of their lives. Some of our young people do understand and some have personal experience. They know that ellenor is somewhere families can get help – it’s for families as well as patients.”


Some of Ifield’s students have previously undertaken work experience at ellenor hospice in Northfleet, working in the laundry and with the catering department. They learned transferable skills that pave the way for careers in service industries or retail.


Sam said: “The students need to learn about hospice care – it is something they will all come into contact with during their lifetimes, either affecting their families or maybe themselves in the future. For years ellenor has been a huge part of the community, and we are in the process of extending our community links, to become more visible.”


In turn, ellenor is also keen to be part of the community, offering help and support to families in times of need. Many of ellenor’s classes and courses are not only open to patients and their families but also to members of the community who have no previous connection to the hospice.


The charity also relies on its many volunteers and on fundraising by local residents and businesses. If you would like to hold a fundraising event like Ifield School’s cake and biscuit sale, please see more details on our website.