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 BeekaySanyolu 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 ShaanGhag, 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, TunjiAkintokun, 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
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
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)
Team Apex, Dartford Grammar School
Best Teacher Award
Tom Cannon, Blackheath High School