The Charities Committee was established early in 2005 in response to the Asian tsunami which devastated large parts of South and South-East Asia. Its original focus was on helping a school in southern Sri Lanka - St. Thomas's, Matara - recover from the effects of the tsunami in replacing basic infrastructure needs and subsequently replenishing inventories in all areas of school life.
Since then the fundraising of the Committee has assisted Naomi House, a children's hospice funded by the Wessex Children's Hospice Fund, and the Mango Tree, a charity helping to educate orphans in East Africa, as designated charities (among others). The link with Sri Lanka continues as Winchester has provided help for the building of a hostel for blind and deaf children near Galle in the south of the island. Working groups of Wykehamists have helped build primary schools in remote parts of India over recent years.
The Committee meets weekly to arrange events: paintballing, a swimathon, a charity raffle, selling hot chocolate and mince pies at Illumina, making badges for XVs have all been aspects of Winchester fundraising.
The following charities have been assisted recently (in addition to those mentioned above): ACE Africa support (for children in Kenya with Aids), Save the Children, Cancer Research UK, TAG, DebRA, Fairbridge, Children in Need, Roche Court International, Homestart Winchester, Mayor's Christmas/Annual charity, Macmillan nurses, Amnesty International, Buskaid, Kenneth Kettle Trust and Emmaus Hampshire.