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Friends of Pestalozzi Groups

Justin meets Isle of Man supporters
Justin visited Friends of Pestalozzi Isle of Man in 2014. You can listen to an interview Justin and Fundraising Officer Darren did on Manx Radio.

We are very grateful to our Friends of Pestalozzi groups for their hard work and commitment to our cause. There are currently Friends of Pestalozzi groups in Lewes, East Sussex and on the Isle of Man. These groups run events in their local communities from carol concerts to dinner parties in aid of Pestalozzi. If you would like to know more about these groups, or if you are interested in setting up your own Friends of Pestalozzi group please contact us on 01424 870444 or

Isle of Man

In 1970, the Isle of Man Girl Guides decided to raise funds for Pestalozzi. This raised awareness of the charity and inspired by their work a number of individuals formed a committee and started Friends of Pestalozzi, Isle of Man in 1971. Over 40 years later, the group is still going strong. Daxa Patel talks about her work with Friends of Pestalozzi.

To celebrate our group’s 40th anniversary, we wanted to sponsor our very own Pestalozzi student. We wanted to empower a female student who hoped to work towards reducing child mortality rates, improving maternal health and combatting HIV/AIDS. Our application for match funding from the Manx Overseas Aid Committee (MOAC) was successful and Dechen Yangkyi from Tibet became our Friends of Pestalozzi Isle of Man Student. We raised £20,000 in 2011 and £13,000 in 2012, securing two years’ education for Dechen. We would like to thank the MOAC, our donors and function guests for this huge achievement.

If you are considering starting up a Friends of Pestalozzi group, I would advise to start small and develop it over time. In the first year, it's important to have one big function. We boost our income by running small awareness-raising events like cookery classes and lunches. When we hold receptions, we keep costs down by using private residences, getting donations and support from local and ethical businesses, and making our canapés by hand!

As we are quite far away from the village, we feel it is important to have Pestalozzi students present at our annual reception. We have been happy to welcome Amit and Nirmal from Nepal, Nomza from Zimbabwe, Amarchi from Nigeria, Roshan Rai from India, Laxmi from Nepal and now Dechen from Tibet.

It's also important to get school students involved. In our case, this allows children on the island to gain a global perspective of the challenges faced by youngsters in less fortunate circumstances. We emphasise how education can transform lives and show how the island has contributed. This year, students from Castle Rushen school chose to represent Pestalozzi for the Charity Challenge. They were runners up, winning £600 for the charity.

(Updated April 2013)

If you are interested in setting up your own Friends of Pestalozzi Group please contact Pestalozzi on 01424 870444 or