The School’s Houses are encouraged to adopt and develop connections with a particular charity and to build on any personal links. Indeed, each academic year starts with the annual Charities Fair which raises funds for seventeen different charities chosen by each House.
Oundle also teams up with The Big Give, with the Old Oundelian Club running a Big Give project in the Fourth Form and donating £2,000 towards a variety of charities that pupils have researched and debated about in House groups. Recent finalists included Cancer Research UK Operation Smile, the BDFA and Restoring Dignity.
Overseas, Oundle regularly supports communities in Kenya, India and South Africa, not only with fundraising but with groups of pupils travelling to the local communities to visit and undertake various projects.
Mencap itself is arguably the strongest collective enterprise between the School and its former pupils, Old Oundelians, and has played an invaluable part in the careers of a large number of doctors and other health professionals, child psychologists and teachers in special needs education. Oundle School Mencap Holidays is recognised by national Mencap as a centre of excellence, where others wishing to enter the field can be trained.
Organised along similar lines to Young Enterprise schemes, Oundle Charity Venturers is a voluntary activity, which takes place on a weekly basis. Pupils form companies comprising six to eight members, each bringing different talents suited to different roles, such as finance, ICT, product development or communication. Each member of the company is elected by the group to fill a post, such as Managing Director, Finance Director, Secretary or Marketing Director. The activity helps to develop leadership and teamwork skills. Pupils are expected to run their businesses as independently as possible, but all the financial affairs are run through the School, with staff acting as mentors throughout.
Projects range from events such as a (Pre)-University Challenge show, a staff cross-country race and a Valentine’s Ball, to products such as games, a recipe book, beanies and lip balm.