Friday 21st June saw our children partner with S. Anselm’s School parent, celebrity auctioneer and Born Free Foundation Ambassador, James Lewis, to take part in a record-breaking 24-hour auction to raise vital funds for Born Free, The Gorilla Organisation, Save Wild Tigers and Mantis.

The grand finale of the auction saw the children stage a stunning procession with the fabulous elephant puppet from the stage production of The Lion King, alongside African dancers and drummers.

The children and guests alike had a truly magical time, set in the stunning grounds of Holme Hall, with grateful thanks to John and Katya Stansfield.

Virginia McKenna OBE, actress and co-founder of the Born Free Foundation was visibly moved by the children’s superb performance of drums and songs from our school play, ‘The Lion King Jr’. She particularly mentioned the great faith she has in our children of the future, who will continue their worldwide campaign to save animals, stop suffering, rescue individuals and protect rare species, naming them ‘the conservation ambassadors of S. Anselm’s’.

The auction was a huge success, raising in the region of £200,000 and was confirmed as a record-breaking event by the Guinness World Record adjudicator in attendance.

The money raised will go towards a number of projects, including conservation of the Rwandan Gorillas and breeding programmes for the Northern White Rhino in Sudan.

James Lewis praised the dedication of teachers and pupils, saying:


“The commitment and positivity displayed by the children in the run up to the event and indeed during the auction itself has been astonishing. Their passion, and understanding of conservation as a result of this project is fantastic; because whilst we’ve raised so much money for Born Free, even more importantly it’s been about inspiring the children to think about the planet first. This is the vision I’ve had from the beginning.  
“Their excitement, commitment and success in their fundraising has been something to behold; and by their own effort alone, they raised nearly £15,000 in sponsorship so far!
“I feel so proud to have worked alongside such a great group of selfless, model global citizens.”

A huge thank you to all those who took part in the many elements of the Out Of Africa campaign.  The children helped in so many ways, from thinking of ingenious methods of raising sponsorship to taking phone bids at the 24-hour auction to their beautiful performance at the event at Holme Hall.