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Alsop High School has maintained contact with a group of twelve Italian teachers who visited the school during the summer of 2017. The group led by a primary teacher, Ms Franca Gambari visited several Liverpool schools to learn more about the award-winning FAITH 17 initiative.

Mrs Franca Gambari teaches in Modena, Northern Italy visited again during 2018 and Mr Bull, head of RE, presented her with a cross which has since travelled around Italy. The cross is at the centre of work, where students share stories of hope and learn about social justice.

Mrs Gambari contacted Alsop to say: “Thank you to you all for your kind messages and prayers. We would like to share with you news of our joint projects,

The Liverpool cross is now in Sardinia and after visiting several schools in the Cagliari province, it has officially been handed over, to Maria Antonietta Vacca and Rita Consolo. The cross will continue its pilgrimage as soon as possible, as a sign of hope, from Caglari to Oristano.”

Mrs Gambari spoke about life in Modena, as Italy is under lockdown in the effort to control the coronavirus.

She said: “At present we have to stay indoors unless we need to buy food or medicines. We are hopeful and we believe that things will improve this way. We hope that everything will be ok for you.

“Thank you for your messages of support. I will share them with my colleagues and friends. Your prayers and support mean a lot to us. Our prayers are with you all.”

During the visit Alsop presented the teachers, led by Mrs Franca Gambari, with a “Liverpool candle of HOPE”, to symbolise the partnership emerging between Italian schools and Alsop.

Mrs Gambari said: “The red candle has a group of people holding hands. We now call it the ‘Liverpool Candle’. We are delighted to tell you that it is now travelling across Italy where schools and teachers are being invited to book a candle stop and share stories of their “Common Good” projects.”

Mr Bull said: “The teachers were very interested in the award-winning schools-community initiative in Liverpool, ‘Faith 2017: working together for the common good’. They heard about the transformational effect Faith 2017 had on school culture and relations with the community.

“The visit touched the hearts of Mrs Gambari and her and colleagues. On returning to their Italian schools they began sharing the enthusiasm and ideas with fellow teachers. They began looking at ways they could work together to raise awareness of the Common Good in their schools.”

The Italians plan to keep in touch with Liverpool counterparts, as well as extending an invitation to Italian colleagues, local authorities, associations, schools and cultural organisations to build “The Common Good” TOGETHER.

Mrs Jenny Sinclair, director of Together for the Common Good said: “It is a great delight to hear that this partnership is flourishing and young people are being encouraged to take responsibility, build community and work together across their differences.

“The Faith 2017 initiative has successfully demonstrated how a school like Alsop High School, can be a force for the common good, and that the success of the approach used in Liverpool is being applied further afield”.