Grace O'Malley Kumar Foundation

The aims of Grace Groups

Grace was a caring person, always putting others before herself and making sure that no one should feel left out or excluded. She stood up against bully’s and cliques. 

We sincerely and strongly believe that if we had a student grouping structure where we had empathy groups, pastoral groups and for Grace’s legacy, let’s call them Grace groups, we would have empathy and compassion forced back to the forefront and if empathy and compassion was pushed to the forefront by grouping students at every year with a cumulative effect of 8 to 10 years perhaps atrocities that took place in Nottingham in June 2023 and harm that takes place almost every day would happen less. We sincerely believe it would happen less.

For part of Grace’s legacy, we would sincerely wish to see the implementation of ‘Grace groups’ in schools, colleges and universities up & down the country and as for our part, we will make it our responsibility for Grace’s legacy to discuss this concept with schools, colleges, universities and with Departments of Education &amp Welfare.

Grace Groups

What we
Stand for

Empathy

Grace's approach was not just about calling out wrongdoings but also about educating and inspiring others towards greater empathy and understanding. Grace had an uncanny ability to create an environment where everyone felt they belonged which we will replicate with Grace Groups.

INclusivity

Whenever Grace noticed someone feeling left out or excluded, she took it upon herself to extend a warm invitation into her friendship circle and make sure that they too felt included. Her kind actions often turned strangers into friends which we hope happens through Grace Groups.

kindess

Our mission is not just to honor Grace's memory, but to actively extend her legacy of kindness and selfless service. We strive to emulate Grace’s exemplary qualities in our work, aiming to touch lives as she did and continue the ripple effect of her remarkable kindness.

How it will work

In Junior schools the formation of Grace groups would resemble the early years in
that names would be pulled out of a hat and placed in a group, a collective of 4-5
children. These groups should not be pre-established friendship groups or friendship
groups from outside or inside school. The idea being not to promote exclusivity by
simply importing friendship groups from a team or outside schools.

 

Junior school introductory topics, examples

 

  • Building on the early years
  • Knowing the first and family name of everyone in the group
  • The individual likes and dislikes, this may be:
  • Hobby or sport they enjoy or feel they are good at
  • Likes and dislikes E.g. food
  • What they envisage doing in the future with their lives, an aspirational job they see themselves doing

Building on the principles of the early years and the junior school years
The level of complexity should increase where cultural, religious and orientation
should be included for respect, hence building on the junior years
Knowing the first and family name of everyone in the group.

Family background: getting to know a family is a key part of getting to know a
person. A child may have a father and a mother but they may also have a father and
a father or a mother and a mother. Parents may originate from different parts of the
world, and this increases cultural sensitivity as well as sensitivity towards same sex
parents and families.
Children may be adopted or in care and this should be fully understood and
supported by people within the Grace group.
Understanding for this will help develop tolerance and make it the norm that all
families are different. This will foster inclusivity and acceptance for everyone for who they are which in turn would phase out any prejudices one may have.

In fact it is important to understand that it is normal to be
different and not the exception.
What they envisage doing in the future with their lives, an aspirational job they see
themselves doing
How do they identify, female or male, non-binary.
Exposure to these terms early on breaks barriers, without exposure to these terms
there may always be an invisible barrier or even acceptance of ridicule which is not
tolerable in today’s society.

Building upon the principles of senior schools, a Grace group at University is even
more essential.

This may be the first time a young person has left home/is away from their usual
family structure of care and is living alone.
Whilst there may be vertical pastoral care structures in place, some students may
not avail or even contact their guardians appointed in years above.

Whilst we
recognise sports teams have Freshers arriving into experienced student houses and
there is a level of support available, there are many non-sports student who arrive to
college and university with no support from peers. This is where in particular a Grace
group could be very useful.
Not only for breaking down the obvious barriers of shyness but also providing a
safety net for going out whilst also presenting the opportunity of meeting other students they may have met before.

It is envisaged that a Grace group could be put together by student services or
students directly involved in Fresher welfare, or voluntarily by a group of 4-5 students
in the same year but not necessarily the same course. These students should
exchange phone numbers, set up group chats and get to know each other very much
as described in the senior school’s section.
Anecdotally, there are some student clubs especially sports clubs where nick names
are adopted early. It may be no surprise to know that often fellow students may not
even know the real name of a fellow student who may be on a sports team.

Getting
to know a fellow student in a Grace group, their name and other facts about them
would be fundamental.
It would also be recommended that if parents come to visit, students within a Grace
group introduce the other members of the group, reassuring parents that there are
fellow students from the same year also involved in support as well as any vertical
support that is available from experienced students, student officers and officials.

A simple strategy with limitless potential

The early years would be a collective of 4 or 5 children in the same school year who
would be placed in a Grace group. One should envisage a lovely little daisy chain of
little children; pupils at nursery, asked to group together.

Names would be pulled out of a hat and placed in a Grace group, as mentioned above. These groups
should not be pre-established friendship groups or friendship groups from outside
school. The idea being, not to promote exclusivity by importing friendship groups.

Inclusivity begins by breaking barriers within school. Putting together pupils
randomly. 

Whilst there are many great examples of vertical student integration in institutions,
‘Grace groups’ relies on horizontal integration and support. We fully support vertical
groups/guardianships where members from senior established years are appointed
to look after and guardian younger members in school or freshers in colleges. This is
of great support but anecdotally it is found that these vertical support structures
dilute in quite a short period of time, rarely lasting over a term.

The Grace group should then change every term to another group of class mates
with the result that within an academic year, of three terms, groups of 4-5
children/students, get to know at least 15-20 other children well.

The detail shared within the groups would reinforce the capacity to recognise facts
about friends and respect likes and dislikes. This exercise in itself would kick-start
the road to better understanding friends and empathy.

The suggestions below of Grace group formation is a guide as to the formation of
such entities and we would welcome any variables that help the cause or suit a
specific situation. We would expect different models, different interpretations for
different schools, sports club teams or any collection of students.

What Grace Stood for

Grace helped me countless times. From simply letting me copy her answers in class to continuing to take me home in Ubers from parties despite me ruining her perfect 5 star rating. Whether I was sad or just wanted to laugh she was always the perfect person to turn to. I miss her so much and will always love her.

~School friend

Grace helped me countless times. From simply letting me copy her answers in class to continuing to take me home in Ubers from parties despite me ruining her perfect 5 star rating. Whether I was sad or just wanted to laugh she was always the perfect person to turn to. I miss her so much and will always love her.

~School friend

Grace would always be so kind and considerate in everything she did. She would never leave anyone out she would always be very inclusive. If someone was having a tough time she would take time out of her day to make sure they are okay and see if she could resolve someone else’s problem she would always be there to comfort people and always make sure they are okay. Everyone should be more like Grace.

~Childhood friend

Grace would always be so kind and considerate in everything she did. She would never leave anyone out she would always be very inclusive. If someone was having a tough time she would take time out of her day to make sure they are okay and see if she could resolve someone else’s problem she would always be there to comfort people and always make sure they are okay. Everyone should be more like Grace.

~Childhood friend

Grace was the bestest friend a girl could have.
She was the most supportive, loyal friend and the person I look for in my most difficult and happiest times.

From years worth of hour-long rants over the phone, and countless sleepovers with very little sleep, to charming my parents into letting me stay out- Grace was always on my side.
From the first day we meant in year 7 Religious Studies, I was instantly drawn to Grace’s bubbly personality and pure heart- we used to call our first conversation love at first sight.
I feel unbelievably blessed growing up with Grace by my side as I simply wouldn’t be the person I am today without her . Her aura was contagious, and her laugh infectious- just spending a few hours with her I would come back the happiest person.

Our love for each other was so special. Grace was my partner in crime and I miss doing life with her. She is forever irreplaceable to me, and forever I will love her with all my heart.

~School friend

Grace was the bestest friend a girl could have.
She was the most supportive, loyal friend and the person I look for in my most difficult and happiest times.

From years worth of hour-long rants over the phone, and countless sleepovers with very little sleep, to charming my parents into letting me stay out- Grace was always on my side.
From the first day we meant in year 7 Religious Studies, I was instantly drawn to Grace’s bubbly personality and pure heart- we used to call our first conversation love at first sight.
I feel unbelievably blessed growing up with Grace by my side as I simply wouldn’t be the person I am today without her . Her aura was contagious, and her laugh infectious- just spending a few hours with her I would come back the happiest person.

Our love for each other was so special. Grace was my partner in crime and I miss doing life with her. She is forever irreplaceable to me, and forever I will love her with all my heart.

~School friend

Grace was a very special person to me. Since we were very young, Grace always stood up for me. In many ways Grace contributed to the confident and well-rounded person that I am today because she was such a consistent, positive force in my life. We were always being goofy and having fun together; often until we were in fits of laughter. She taught me that I could completely be myself and feel loved by an amazing friend. Having a considerate friend always making you happy and supporting you is invaluable; it has such a positive impact on your life in immeasurable ways. I want everyone to know how funny, clever and caring she was to me and to everyone. I am incredibly lucky to have been her friend. I’ll always have what she has gifted me and it will inspire me to live my life in the remarkable way that she did. I’ll always love Grace and she will forever hold a special place in my heart.

~School friend

Some of my most cherished memories with Grace happened when she would pop by for a drive. Her ever growing kindness and caring nature always provided me a shoulder to cry on. no matter how many times I wanted to talk about the same situation, Grace listened wholeheartedly and was the most supportive friend I could ask for.

Grace’s kind-hearted personality made sure everyone was always looked after. One of her most admirable traits was her ability to stand up for herself and for others. When something wasn’t right, Grace had the courage to speak out in favour of her principles, no matter the scale.

~School friend

Some of my most cherished memories with Grace happened when she would pop by for a drive. Her ever growing kindness and caring nature always provided me a shoulder to cry on. no matter how many times I wanted to talk about the same situation, Grace listened wholeheartedly and was the most supportive friend I could ask for.

Grace’s kind-hearted personality made sure everyone was always looked after. One of her most admirable traits was her ability to stand up for herself and for others. When something wasn’t right, Grace had the courage to speak out in favour of her principles, no matter the scale.

~School friend

Grace made me and everyone around her better people. Her confidence and huge sense of fun was infectious.

When talking about Grace a common theme always came up. Her commitment to making sure people were never excluded.

I’m not the most outgoing person, but I met so many people at uni through Grace and can never thank her enough for that. Even when I really didn’t feel like going out, Grace always managed to persuade me and I was always glad she did.

~University friend

I was going through a bit of a tough time at one point, and Grace knew what I was struggling with. We went to practice together that week, as we always did, and she said we should get Valentine’s Day dinner together. We went out for a fun dinner at her favourite place in Beeston. I don’t think she knew how much it meant that someone was willing to be there for me while I was struggling and I really enjoyed making that memory with her

~University Friend

I was going through a bit of a tough time at one point, and Grace knew what I was struggling with. We went to practice together that week, as we always did, and she said we should get Valentine’s Day dinner together. We went out for a fun dinner at her favourite place in Beeston. I don’t think she knew how much it meant that someone was willing to be there for me while I was struggling and I really enjoyed making that memory with her,

~University Friend

From a young age Grace always made sure that nobody felt left out. We became friends because Grace made an incredible effort to include me in a friendship group when we were seven years old and I was struggling to make friends and being left out. For the next 12 years we were very close and I witnessed Grace consistently make sure that myself and the people around her felt included at school. The thought of anyone feeling left out was something that upset Grace. Her moral fibre was always impressive. If everybody was like Grace no child would ever feel lonely at school. Grace’s sense of humour was fantastic. Being a friend of Grace meant that you felt included, happy and had a lot of laughs, and Grace made sure that she was a friend to anybody in need. Grace has inspired me to be the same. The impact that having a friend like Grace has on your life is immense. It follows you throughout your life giving you the confidence to be social, successful and happy. I don’t know where I’d be without Grace and I’m so grateful for having had such a beautiful friend inside and out.

~School Friend

From a young age Grace always made sure that nobody felt left out. We became friends because Grace made an incredible effort to include me in a friendship group when we were seven years old and I was struggling to make friends and being left out. For the next 12 years we were very close and I witnessed Grace consistently make sure that myself and the people around her felt included at school. The thought of anyone feeling left out was something that upset Grace. Her moral fibre was always impressive. If everybody was like Grace no child would ever feel lonely at school. Grace’s sense of humour was fantastic. Being a friend of Grace meant that you felt included, happy and had a lot of laughs, and Grace made sure that she was a friend to anybody in need. Grace has inspired me to be the same. The impact that having a friend like Grace has on your life is immense. It follows you throughout your life giving you the confidence to be social, successful and happy. I don’t know where I’d be without Grace and I’m so grateful for having had such a beautiful friend inside and out.

~School Friend

Our Humble request from you

It is so vitally important to keep up good causes especially for our children.

To keep the principles of grace groups perpetuated year on year and for us to be
able to make many other institutions aware of grace groups, we would ask for your
kind help.

We would kindly request that there is a week given to raising awareness and
fundraising for the Grace O’Malley-Kumar Foundation.

For a school or a club we would kindly request that a week is given to sponsored
fundraising activities.
For large scale organisations we would humbly request that we are listed for your
annual donations preferred list.


This will help the foundation grow, become even more far reaching and give it the
necessary help to take on projects which are in the public, especially in our children’s
interest

Grace Groups

If you are interested in how you can help

Email us and we will get in touch as soon as possible