School in a Bag

Working with Hassocks Infant School to help deprived children across the world.


March 2019

Burgess Hill Academy has become the second school in the area to collaborate with the Club to support School in a Bag, following in the footsteps of Hassocks Infants School.  Since last October students in Years 7 & 8 have used their initiative to raise funds for school bags, and their magnificent efforts yielded £1655,  sufficient to fill 83 bags. The students arranged a range of activities to raise the money including cake sales, sponsored silences, a non school uniform day,  and a sponsored walk by 2 sisters which alone raised £230.

The School in a Bag charity, which was launched in 2009, distributes learning resources to deprived, underprivileged and disaster affected children throughout the world to give them the opportunity to have a better education and thus to lead a better life. During the 10 years since its launch the charity has packed and shipped over 110000 school bags to 40 countries. Each contains exercise books, pens, pencils, crayons, a ruler, a maths set, a lunch box and a drinking vessel, and is numbered so that donors can track on line the bag they have funded and packed.

The Club arranged for Luke Simon, the founder and CEO of School in a Bag, to visit the Academy on 2 April to congratulate the Year 7 & 8 students for their outstandingly successful fund raising programme and to oversee 83 of them packing a school bag each.

 - July 2018

For the fourth successive year the Rotary Club of Burgess Hill and District and Hassocks Infants School have collaborated to supply learning resources to deprived children worldwide. 

Year 2 pupils at the school organised fund raising activities in support of School in a Bag (SIAB), a project run by the Piers Simon Appeal charity which delivers school bags to deprived children all around the world. Each bag contains learning resources to enable children to write, draw, colour, calculate, express themselves and above all learn, giving them the opportunity to enjoy a better life. The bags also contain a bowl, a plate and a water bottle to enable children to have a meal during the school day. The Piers Simon Appeal charity, established soon after the tsunami which devastated countries around the Pacific rim in 2004, launched the SIAB project in 2009, and since then over 80000 bags have been delivered in 35 countries.


Luke Simon, the founder and CEO of the SIAB project, visited the school on 17 July to supervise the pupils packing 90 school bags funded jointly by the children and the Rotary Club. Having thanked the children for raising funds he explained the reasons for supplying learning resources to deprived children all around the world, emphasising that they had few if any of the items in the bags and the importance of helping them to learn. He also said that in some very poor countries there were no school buildings and so children had to be taught in the open air. The headmistress, Mrs Jeannie Hughes, was only too well aware that supporting SIAB helped her pupils understand that there were so many children in the world far worse off than they were.    

Jenny Theobald, the Immediate Past President of the Club, said that ‘I am delighted that Hassocks Infants School has again collaborated with the Rotary Club of Burgess Hill and District to support this excellent project, and that arrangements have already been made to continue this collaboration next year’.

The Rotary Club would be pleased to talk to schools and groups about the School in a  Bag project ( . More information about this or any other aspect of Rotary can be found on the Club’s web site (, or obtained by contacting the Secretary


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