Out of Africa

S. Anselm’s is thrilled to be the first school in the UK to launch a groundbreaking new campaign – Out of Africa – in support of the much loved Born Free Foundation.  In January 2019, we joined forces with Bamford’s Auctioneers and the Born Free Foundation itself and our children have surpassed all expectations in their commitment this marvelous cause.

Out of Africa Success: The Grand Auction Finale

The Grand Finale of the record breaking auction saw guests gather at Holme Hall to experience a full African procession and performances from our children before the finale of the auction.  The procession even included the elephant puppet from the London production of The Lion King – although many people commented it was difficult to imagine it was anything other than a real elephant!

Click here to read the full story and see more dynamic photos of the event …

Auctioneering through the small hours

S. Anselm’s pupils supported the staff in Bamford’s Auction rooms in Rowsley, working in shifts throughout the 24-hour auction between 21st and 22nd June. 

The children’s tasks ranged from portering, handling telephone and internet bids and front desk administration – all under the watchful eye of the official from the Guinness Book of Records.

About the campaign

At the start of 2019, S. Anselm’s joined forces with Bamford’s Auctioneers and the Born Foundation in a major campaign to raise funds for the Born Free Foundation.  A special assembly was held at which TV presenter and auctioneer James Lewis, introduced the Campaign, talking about his passion as a patron for the Born Free Foundation.  He went on to explain to a very excited hall of children, how each and every one of the S. Anselm’s children could get personally involved and make a difference to the future of Africa’s precious animals and wildlife.

Enabling our children to learn about other cultures and wildlife conservation through direct involvement with the organisations that can hopefully make a real difference, is at the very heart of the campaign.  The aim is for the children to feel empowered for change and take forward their roles as conservation ambassadors.


The culmination of the campaign was the Gala Auction that took place on 21st and 22nd June 2019 – a World Record attempt for the longest ever auction by a solo auctioneer – James Lewis himself.  

S. Anselm’s children generated sponsorship for their direct participation in the auction – in which they worked as runners, porters and administrators – working with and alongside celebrity guests, as well as participating in media interviews and coverage surrounding the event.

Back the in classroom, the children have also been forging links with the Maasai tribe and working on research based project work to inform their understanding.  

Extraordinary pupil endeavours …

Oliver and Toby’s Olympic Distance Triathlon in 3 Days

Congratulations to Oliver L (Year 4) and Toby L (Year 3) who took up the challenge of completing an Olympic Distance Triathlon over 3 consecutive days to raise funds.  The boys completed a 1,500 m Swim, 40 km Bike ride and a 10km run.  

To put these distances into perspective they had to do 60 lengths of a 25m pool, cycle from Bakewell to Meadow Hall plus a little bit extra and then run from Bakewell to Darley Dale over 3 consecutive days. The boys raised over £350.00.  It is an amazing achievement and the boys maintained such a positive attitude throughout the 3 days because they knew they were doing something which would help this wonderful Foundation.



Holly completes ambitious 55555 challenge

Holly H in Year 3 completed her ambitious challenge to raise money for the Born Free Foundation over the half term, successfully walking over 5k a day, for 5 consecutive days, in 5 different countries! 

Her walks explored a range of stunning locations and involved rain, sun and snow along the way, and took her across across Scotland, England, France, Switzerland and Italy.  Thank you to everyone for their sponsorship and support!

Emelia swims for sponsorship

Emelia P in Year 5 has managed to swim the height of Kilimanjaro 5895m in just TWO days in aid of Born Free.  She knew she could swim 236 lengths over 5 days, so challenged herself to do it in 4 days, then 3, and finally 2.  What an amazing effort Em!  Thank you to everyone who has sponsored her, raising over £250. 

Alex deploys his gift for painting

Keen artist Alex D in Year 8 has devoted his spare time to creating two wonderful pieces are art, using mixed media – one of a lion and the other of a tiger. Alex is having these turned into greetings cards which will be available to purchase from the school office for £10 per pack – with proceeds going to Born Free.



Arthur’s baking & craft enterprise

Well done to Arthur W in Year 6 and his sister Celeste, who organised a cake sale at the Youlgrave Parish Church, for Born Free! 

They spent their half term making necklaces out of Fimo clay and broaches out of salt dough to sell alongside the tasty French Madelaine’s, bran muffins and rice crispy cakes. The support from the congregation was wonderful, enabling them to raise just over £50.  

Tom looses his hair to raise funds

Wildlife enthusiast, Tom Scott in Year 5, is using his head in a very imaginative way in a bid to raise funds for the Born Free Foundation >> read more



We did it!  A Guinness World Record and over £200,000 raised for the Born Free Foundation

At the start of the campaign, we were thrilled to receive a personalised film message to S. Anselm’s from none other than Virginia McKenna OBE, who starred in the original film of Born Free in the role of Joy Adamson and went on to co-found the Born Free Foundation. 

You can watch her message here >>  

Virginia McKenna OBE


Conservation activities

Our younger children enjoyed taking part in an activity morning on animal conservation as part of our Out of Africa Campaign.

Born Free Patron and S. Anselm’s parent, James Lewis, kick started the events by talking to the children about wonderful fundraising that has taken place so far and how important every little bit of money is for the charity.  The children then got busy with exciting activities including making origami bookmarks, creating animal masks, making collages and designing posters.  The activities involved lots of collaboration, discussion, thoughtful questions, reflection and – most of all – fun.




The Lion King

At our Junior Production of The Lion King, audience donations to The Born Free Foundation totaled: £451.04.  Take a look at our sensational Junior Years’ Production of The Lion King – as well as an incredible masterclass from the first West End Simba, Roger Wright!   >> The Lion King