Dear Parents,

Loreto Convent will be taking part in this year’s Jeans for Genes Day and supporting local Mental Health Charities by wearing yellow on Friday 22nd September.

I promise we will not be doing this too often throughout the year, but ask you to support us on Friday by sending your child to school in jeans (skirts, shorts, trousers) to support Jeans 4 Genes and a touch of yellow (t-shirt, ribbon pinned on to polo shirt) to support Clubhouse Gibraltar and Gibraltar Samaritans. A donation of £2.00 – or whatever you think appropriate – will be gratefully received.

Jeans for Genes is the national charity raising money for children with genetic disorders, to fund the care and support they need now and the research which could change their futures.

In the UK, one baby in every 25 is born with a genetic disorder. Although individually these disorders can be extremely rare, together they are the biggest killer of children aged 14 and under. If you’d like to know more about Jeans for Genes Day, you can visit the charity’s website at

In addition to this, we are supporting another cause close to our hearts. On Sunday 24th September a local club is organising a Futsal Tournament in memory of their friend and teammate – Maurice Coelho – who sadly took his own life recently. The purpose of the event is to celebrate his life but also to raise awareness about the very concerning problem of suicide amongst young men. The tournament will raise funds for Clubhouse Gibraltar and Gibraltar Samaritans.

Clubhouse Gibraltar started in October 2009 when the Clubhouse model for Gibraltar was explored and found to be very suitable for Gibraltar’s needs. In December 2010 it was estimated that approximately 50-70 persons could immediately benefit from attending a Clubhouse in Gibraltar and that around 700 persons are currently under treatment in Gibraltar because they suffer from some form of serious mental illness. Clubhouse Gibraltar is a place that offers respect, hope and dignity to its members who suffer from mental health illness and need suitable, structured support outside the medical environment. By donating, you will be helping towards the running of all the different services Clubhouse Gibraltar offers, such as regular phone calls to isolated members, providing health and fitness sessions and also developing their Employment Program including training and support.

Gibraltar Samaritans is a relatively new charity, inspired by the Samaritans charity in the UK, which is in the process of being set up in Gibraltar. Marielou Guerrero, who is spearheading the operation, told us that just last year there were 5 suicides in the space of 6 months in Gibraltar, two of whom were close friends of hers. This worrying trend, which is particularly affecting young men, prompted her to take action and set up this vey noble and inspiring operation. Their goal is to become fully operational in early October by providing specialised training, delivered by UK Samaritans, for all volunteers in the different areas needed and of course, run the ongoing service. It will also aid the charity to produce literature and promotional awareness materials, purchase specialised software to comply with best practice procedures or recording information, as well as help with office and administration costs, including international call charges.

Thank you for your support.