A £12,000 appeal by a Kidderminster school to buy vital camping kit to enable a Duke of Edinburgh programme to benefit up to 180 students annually has smashed the half-way milestone.

The Sebright Foundation, which provides grants to support educational purposes in Wyre Forest, has awarded Baxter College £5,000 towards the appeal.

The Kidderminster and District Lions Club has donated £900 and a grateful parent, whose two children took DofE awards while at the school, has given £1,000.

A further £50 donation has been received from the fraternal organisation, The Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes.

Science teacher and DofE manager Andrew Macpherson said: “We launched the appeal in late October, not knowing what to expect, and were thrilled to receive such a brilliant response so quickly. We are hugely grateful for these donations totalling almost £7,000.

“We contacted a number of organisations and businesses and are hopeful that more will respond and help us to continue providing free places for all of Year 9 to complete the DofE Bronze Award.”

The school has always offered students the opportunity to take the awards but since 2021 has provided free places for the whole year group to benefit, enabling students to build skills, confidence, self-esteem and resilience.

Covid adaptations meant the expedition element of the Bronze Award was run over two days without camping, but the camping requirement is being restored.

The school wants to run three expeditions for the current Year 9 in groups of 50 next summer but does not have enough equipment for such large numbers.

A basic kit pack consisting of a rucksack, sleeping bag and waterproofs for each student, plus tents and stoves, costs around £200.

Any businesses, organisations or individuals who can help, are asked to contact Mr Macpherson at Baxter College on 01562 741524.