Friends of Ian Mikardo High School  is a registered charity (Charity Commission number 1123143) set up in March 2008 to help the school to  raise money for essential services within the school.

Our mission is to empower, build confidence and provide vulnerable young people with the skills they need to lead fulfilling lives. We provide them with consistent emotional support and teach them how to work through conflict. We challenge them and give them a sense of achievement that combines education and personal development. Then they can start to work towards a postive future.

If you want to make a donation that really makes a difference, this is the place to do it because a little goes a long way at Ian Mikardo.  Unlike many charities, FoIMHS is run entirely by volunteers so every penny you donate will benefit the young people in the school.

What we need:

  • £50 could buy bulbs for the school's grounds
  • £100 could buy products for the school's hairdressing and beauty salon
  • £200 could buy emergency clothing for students on day trips
  • £220 could buy 8 tickets for the football for 4 students and staff
  • £500 could buy paint to keep the school looking smart
  • £570 could buy two digital cameras to give students skills that will help them gain employment
  • £5,000 could buy a whole school challenge of Mount Snowden
  • £5,000 could buy camping equipment to take students on overnight trips in rural Essex. This broadens their horizons.. When they arrive at the school most have never been more than a few miles from their home.
  • £18,000 could fund a Speech and Language therapist for a year.
  • £20,000 could fund our essential offsite work with students for a year.


Mikardo Marathon Man 2018

Due to injury, Aaron Mulhern, our Acting Deputy Head of School, is unable to take up our place in the London Marathon in April 2017. Virgin London Marathon has confirmed that the place can be deferred until 2018, and we look forward to supporting Aaron as he prepares for the big event next year. 


December 2014 celebration

Thanks to the generosity of those who attended our December event to celebrate a successful year in the school - a third consecutive Ofsted Outstanding and global recognition following the Too Tough to Teach? documentaries on Channel 5. We are also grateful to Barclays for match-funding the event.


Kilimanjaro Expedition 2013

 The second Kilimanjaro vision was even bigger than the first: to get five former students to the top of the mountain and raise awareness about the national Time to Change campaign. Once again, former students and staff excelled themselves, all eight of the team reaching the summit together in an extraordinary seven hours. This meant they knocked an hour off the time usually taken to reach the top of the 5895 metre peak.

The expedition gave five former students and two members of the local community who had recently joined the staff the opportunity to test their mental, physical and emotional capacities, and to bridge the gap between those with special needs and the wider community. They were spurred on by knowing that they were supporting the welfare needs of current students and their families.  See our evaluation below.


Kilimanjaro Expedition 2012

In June 2012, Claire Lillis celebrated 10 years in the school by leading a fund-raising climb up Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and was thrilled that five of our team reached the 5895 metre summit and all reached the upper slopes.  The team included four former students, one of whom will be the first student to go to university, one of our teachers and two trustees.

This was the toughest mental and physical challenge of their lives.  Altitude sickness kicked in on the second day and they grappled with headaches, nausea and the exhaustion that comes with trekking at altitude. Summit day was surreal: they set off at midnight in pitch black darkness and sub-zero temperatures for an eight hour walk up steep rocks and scree.

Despite these challenges they somehow forgot they were tired and filthy (you don't want to know) and kept going. There were tears of relief at the top.  How did they do it?  With comradeship, faith in each other, laughter and endless singing.  Not to mention shedloads of determination.  Now we have proof that Ian Mikardo students have got the grit that can take them wherever they want to go in life.  As former student Jerome Weatherman, put it: "I've proved what I can do.  Now the sky's the limit."

Barclays, HLM Architects, Facewatch and CitizenM covered the cost of the trip while other generous sponsors helped to raise more than £10,000 to equip the school's independent living space where students learn the skills they will need to live independently as adults. 



  2. Kilimanjaro Evaluation 2013