St Albans school rugby match raises more than £3000 for local suicide prevention charity

Left to right: Verity Bramwell, Alan Grey. Picture: Sandringham School

Left to right: Verity Bramwell, Alan Grey. Picture: Sandringham School - Credit: Archant

A school’s anniversary rugby match raised more than £3,000 for St Albans’ suicide prevention charity.

The teams. Picture: Sandringham School

The teams. Picture: Sandringham School - Credit: Archant

Sandringham School’s Barbarians went head to head with the Old Albanian Grizzlies in aid of The OLLIE Foundation (One Life Lost Is Enough) and to celebrate the school’s birthday.

The school’s current students, alumna, staff and students assembled for their debut game at the Old Albanian Rugby Club on April 25 - and won 48:46.

Former Saracens star and England fly-half Charlie Hodgson judged sixth form student Rory Hextall as most valuable player.

Prizes for a raffle were donated by local restaurants and OA sports provided facilities for the event.

Headteacher Alan Gray said: “This was a wonderful evening where we were able to celebrate the start of our 30th anniversary celebrations as Sandringham School, as well as raise a substantial sum of money for The OLLIE Foundation.

“I am really proud of everyone involved, either taking part in the rugby itself or for helping to organise the event.

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“The players put everything into the game, playing to an extremely high standard and entertaining the audience.”

After the game, he presented a cheque to Verity Bramwell from OLLIE and thanked everyone for their participation in a “special evening”.

OLLIE provides training to make it easier for people working with teenagers to spot the warning signs of suicide.

The charity was set up by three St Albans parents who have all lost their own children to suicide.

It provides training in approaching and talking to potentially suicidal people - called SafeTALK.

A minute silence was observed at the beginning of the match to honour those who have taken their own lives.

Tributes to the success of the event are abundant on its donations page. Associate assistant head Mark Allday posted: “A great way to commence the 30th anniversary celebrations for Sandringham! Money raised for a very worthwhile cause.”

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