latest news 24 July 2024


A Rugby School student has donated her holiday earnings to benefit the town’s Brooke School.


Ema Okada, 17, has given the £800 she earned last summer to help fund the furnishing of a new flat that the special needs school is creating to support their pupils’ independence and life skills.


Rugby School sixth-formers regularly help in the town and local community as part of the School’s ‘Rugby 360’ volunteering programme. Ema chose to work at Brooke School and spent every Wednesday afternoon last year helping the staff and students.


During the summer holidays last year, which she spent with her family in Japan, she worked as a volunteer at a school for children with special needs, using the experience she had gained at Brooke School. She also tutored children between eight and 12 and gave a seminar about studying in the UK for Japanese families interested in the British exam system.


Ema said: “Since there are not many special needs schools like Brooke in Japan, where I live, and people there typically have negative opinions about them, I was really impressed with the incredible opportunities and activities that Brooke School provides for the children.


“I had a wonderful experience at Brooke School. Last summer was my first time working, and instead of using the money for myself, I always wanted to contribute to someone else,

so decided to donate all my earnings to support the school and its positive impact on the children.”


Ema added: “Working at Brooke School was a significant moment for me, as everything fell into place. It made me realise my passion for directly helping people on an individual level, which sparked my interest in pursuing a career in medicine, particularly as a paediatrician to assist children.”


Amelia Bedson, Assistant Headteacher at Brooke School, said everyone was delighted with the generous donation from Ema, which will be put towards furnishing our new independent living flat at Brooke.


“This provision will allow our learners to practise essential life skills in a real to life environment, supporting them to become happy, safe and independent adults. It was lovely to hear of the positive impact coming to Brooke to volunteer as part of the Rugby360 programme has had on Ema, and her kind donation will support our learners for years to come,” she added.

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