The WOHAA Awards Ceremony 2018

Thursday 28th June saw the final event in the WOHAA calendar – our Annual Awards Ceremony to recognise and reward student participants in WOHAA. In the twelfth year of WOHAA, over 32,000 students have now taken part, and nearly 250 guests were in attendance to celebrate with us. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists played host to this fantastic evening, which was filled with student performances of music, poetry, and even some juggling! Our fantastic guest host AJ King – DJ and radio presenter – spoke about his own experiences working with young people, and the importance of planting seeds of encouragement for change to continue. We had wonderful musical performances of student talent, including Ran Mitani on the piano, and the country band from Dwight School London, as well as Beekay Sanyaolu from Dartford Grammar with a moving rendition of the Emmeli Sande version of John Lennon’s classic ‘Imagine’.

The audience was also treated to a more unusual performance of a circus act from Atticus Menders, a student from the International School of Geneva, and competing in WOHAA 2017-18 as part of team InterHOPE. Atticus showcased his juggling skills and his ability to backflip at any given moment, and made one of the most unique performances at an Awards Ceremony so far!

Another standout moment was Shaan Ghag, Darford Grammar, who performed her own spoken word piece ‘Education is the Key’. This was a powerful expression of injustice in education across the world and a moving call to action from such a young voice.

Trophies were presented by esteemed Professors from the London Business School, and representatives from John Lewis, as well as honoured academic and sitting peer Lord Bhiku Parekh, Richard Woolley (Director of Design at Jaguar Land Rover), and Sondra Ortalo-Magne, the wife of Francois, Dean of London Business School. Special guests included Dr Royston Flude from Rotary International Geneva, Tunji Akintokun, and we had a unique insight WOHAA from the perspective of a teacher who has worked with us in three different schools in two countries, and who flew from Geneva to be with us for Thursday’s event – Ian Smith. Ian also presented the Best Teacher Award to Tom Cannon from Blackheath High School for his support of Team Cannons over two years, as well as his starring role in their fundraiser which had teachers carry student bags for a day!

This year’s competition has been as tough as ever, with students going out and about around London to diverse audiences spreading the WOHAA message, running skateboarding competitions, talent shows, fashion shows and concerts to rival the professionals, jumping out of planes at 20,000 feet, organising cultural dinners and dances, cycling nearly 2000km, trekking for miles across London and the Wirral, and even up Mount Snowdon! They have stunned us with their performance talents, culinary excellence, self-made promotional videos and innovative performances.

Our overall winners for this year of WOHAA are team Apex, Dartford Grammar School who have worked extremely hard over the last months to pull off their events, which include no less than five Krispy Kreme sales over the Spring term, a Spring Soiree with DJs, food, drinks, and its own Snapchat geofilter for their peers, spreading the WOHAA message across Bexleyheath and in a primary school visit, and one brave team-member conquering their fear of heights by doing a tandem skydive from 20,000 feet. These six girls will now be heading to India to see the work of Wings of Hope in action, in the school and tuition projects in Chennai. It was a close finish for the Overall Runners up, Team InterHOPE from the International School of Geneva, who also won the Most Funds Raised prize for their efforts in organising a talent show, skateboarding competition, and cyclathon.

Wings of Hope are very proud of all student participants, and can’t wait to see what next year’s cohort come up with.

Most Awareness Raised

Winners: Team Cannons, Blackheath High School

Runners up: Team Dreamcatchers, Royal Masonic School for Girls

Community Action

Winners: Team M.A.D, West Kirby Grammar School, Liverpool

Runners up: Team Next Generation, Queen Elizabeth’s Girls’ School

Excellence in Culinary Skills

Winners: Team Change, Immanuel College

Runners up: Team Connected, Surbiton High

Excellence in Sports

Runners up: Team Swish, West Kirby Grammar School, Liverpool

Runners up: Team Helping Hands, Woodbridge High School

Excellence in Arts

Runners up: Team Action, Forest School

Runners up: Team ICUBS Care, Royal Masonic School for Girls

Runners up: Team 6ana, Dwight School London

Runners up: Team Lifechangers, Townley Grammar School

Best Presentation

Team Mariama, the Forest Academy

Most Entrepreneurial Team

Winners: Team Flame, Croydon High School

Runners up: Team CNC, Surbiton High School

Overall Runners Up & Most Funds Raised

Team InterHOPE, International School of Geneva (La Chataigneraie campus)

Overall Winners

Team Apex, Dartford Grammar School

Best Teacher Award

Tom Cannon, Blackheath High School


‘An unforgettable experience’: The WOHAA Winners’ Trip 2017

In December 2017, the overall WOHAA winners for 2016-17 Team Oak, travelled to Chennai for what would be an unforgettable experience of teaching and culture. They were in for a surprise this year as the 2015-16 overallwinning team,EduNation,would also be joining them! Inthe long journey from the UK to Chennai via Delhi, the teams were looking forward not only to meeting and teaching the students in Chennai, but also to learning from them and their unique experience.

Day 1:The teamswere given a tour around the school, and were immediately captivated by the grounds on which it lay. Both teams immediately noticedthe school’s focus on positivityand the harmonious environment this fostered. Following the tour, they were given the opportunity to jump straight into teaching, which they had prepared for and thoroughly enjoyed.

Day 2:The first full day of teaching was met with excitement; as well as teaching curriculum subjects like Maths, and Biology,EduNation and Oak involved themselves in the students’ games sessions. As in everything else, theChennai studentsexcelled at sports, and our teams also learnt some new games along the way!

Day 3:This day involved a mixture of teaching and absorbing culture for the teams. They met the Headmistressof the school as well as other key staff members, gaining an insight into the hard work that goes into running the school at its current high standard. Afterwards, they began to explore the vast culture and architecture of India. They saw extravagant temples, amongst other things, and were astounded at the amount that India had to offer- much more than they had previously imagined.

Day 4:This was our teams’ final day at the school, and they spent the morning teaching and talking to their newfound friends, making sure that theywould keep in touch in the future. The Chennai students had organised a cultural show to display the talents of themselves and our volunteers. The students blew our teams away with performances ranging from the fine arts to unbelievable feats in yoga. Our teams were presented with gifts at the end of the show to express the students’ gratitude for the time they had spent at their school, and engaging in every aspect of school life. It really was an experience that the volunteers will cherish throughout their lives.

Team Oak expressed the life-changing nature of the trip, saying: “Leaving the school was a difficult task but we managed it, saying farewell to all our new companions, and getting ready to go home. The trip was an amazing, once in a lifetime, and unforgettable experience.”

And Team EdNuation summed up their impressions of the Chennai students in a few sentences: “What we found particularly compelling was the attitude that the children had during our lessons. Despite some of them speaking limited English, they were all incredibly engaged. They were so eager to learn, attentive to anything we said and had a real excitement to find out about our lives. We were also inspired by how satisfied they were with their lives and their determinations and motivations for succeeding in the future. We are very grateful to have received this beneficial opportunity and urge others to get involved in similar projects as we learnt so much from ours.”


The Wings of Hope Achievement Awards 2016-17

Once again, the Wings of Hope Achievement Awards ceremony was held at the prestigious location of The Royal College of Surgeons, London. This ceremony, held to reward and recognise all the efforts of our participating students and our way of saying ‘Thank You’ to them, their parents, teachers and head teachers.

We are extremely proud of all the winners and runners up and here is the list for 2016-17

Award Name : Most Awareness Raised
Winner : Team Blue Dragons – The Ellen Wilkinson School for Girls,London
Runner Up : Team Taara – Queen Anne’s School, Reading

Award Name : Best Presentation
Winner : Team Spicy – West Kirby Grammar School, Wirral
Runner Up : Team Oblige – Immanuel College, Hertfordshire

Award Name : Excellence in Arts
Winner : Team Amor Mundi – Forest School, East London
Runner Up : Team Canons – Blackheath High School GDST, London

Award Name : Excellence in Culinary Skills
Winner : Team Powerpuff Girls – Prendegast School, London
Runner Up : Team pay it Forwards – Hasmonean High School for Girls, London

Award Name : Excellence in Sports
Winner : Team Equity – Drayton Manor High School, London
Winner : Team Goal – Hasmonean High School for Boys, London

Award Name : Community Action Award
Winner : Team Open Heart – Dormers Well’s School, Southall, London

Award Name : Most Entrepreneurial Team
Winner : Team Moment – West Kirby Grammar School, Wirral
Runner Up : Team Future – Hasmonean High School for Girls, London

Overall Winners :
Team OAK – Queen Elizabeth School for Boys, London,
Chesham Grammar School, Chesham,
Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Boys, Elstree
Northwood College for Girls , Middlesex.

Team Goal – Hasmonean School for Boys

Team Blue Dragons from The Ellen Wilkinson School for Girls

Pineapple dancers

Team OAK – Overall Winners


London Marathon on 23rd April 2017

Brandon Lew a US Marine and current student of MBA
at London Business School, ran the London Marathon on
23rd April 2017.

He finished the 26 mile run in 3 hours and 43 minutes.

Thank you Brandon for running for our charity and raising funds
for our International projects.


Speed Mentoring 2017

Another year, another successful Speed Mentoring event!

On Saturday 4th February, hundreds of students descended on the Royal College of Surgeons in central London for WOHAA’s Speed Mentoring afternoon.

The idea behind the event is to demystify the world of work, which is done by bringing together mentors from a range of industries – law, medicine, drama, banking & technology (just to name a few!) – to give students insight into how to succeed in their chosen career.

The event began with an inspiring talk given by Matthew Gwyther, the award-winning editor of Management Today, before the mentoring got underway.

Mimicking a speed-dating format, students rotated around several tables, packing in as many questions as possible before the gong sounded and it was on to the next mentor.

The event proved a fantastic success, with students rating it on average 8.8/10. One student said they appreciated how not only did the mentors give out industry-specific advice, but “guidance for life and decisions in general”, while another valued the opportunity to see “different perspectives and learning ways into the industry”. Many students also commented on how friendly and approachable all the mentors were.


WOHAA winners trip to India 2015-16

The winners of WOHAA 2015-16 have just returned from a fantastic trip visiting the school supported by the Wings of Hope in Chennai, India. Here they had the opportunity to teach the students lessons such as Spanish, Latin, French, History, Maths, and English. But it was not all hard work: the winners also enjoyed playing with the children and teaching them some new games. On the final day at the school, the winners partook in a cultural exchange programme with the students. This gave both the visitors and the students the chance to showcase their talents, and learn some new skills from one another. The school went out of its way to welcome the students, and served them delicious local cuisine daily.


Speed Mentoring 2016


Representatives from the Arts, Sciences, Business and the Professions came together to talk to our WOHAA students about what they do and how they came to do it. Feedback from both students and mentors was incredibly positive and a good time was had by all!
Special thanks goes out to our Senior Mentor, Tunji Akintokun, Director at Cisco, for his inspirational remarks on the day.


It was wonderful to meet so many of our inspiring students and we are so happy to see the progress you are all making with WOHAA!



Students respond charitably to Chennai Floods


The terrible floods which wreaked havoc in Chennai last month proved a great spur for students at the Wings of Hope project school to come up with their own initiatives to help the needy. They put together 500 food packages over a period of three days which they distributed at Amudha Nagar, Vellakkal, Tambaram and Ambetkar Nagar. They also collected pots and pans to distribute to flood victims enabling them to cook their own food during these difficult times.

Chennai floods

IMG_2735 IMG_2773


Chennai floods –  The recent floods in Chennai, brought devastation to thousands across the city.

Children at our Slum tuition project were also greatly affected by heavy rains.

SAVE Trust our partner organisation for this project, undertook relief work along with the help of local

welfare organisations, churches and temples and lots of volunteers to help the children and their parents.

Essential food, like biscuits, drinking water, milk and medicines were distributed.

There is a lot of work still to be done on getting things back to normal.  It would take several months.

We thank people who have donated for this cause.



Butterfly books new self-publishing start-up by



Butterfly books launch their new self-publishing start-up by publishing two books ‘My mummy is an Engineer ‘ and ‘My Mummy is a Plumber’.

Launched at the beautiful venue of The Cartoon Museum, in Central London, this well attended event, was in line with what we at Wings of Hope are doing for our students.  Preparing them for the world of work, and to think outside the box.

Butterfly books, also very kindly chose us as one of their charities for donations.

Thank you Kerrin Bryan.