More than forty of our Year 11 and Year 12 pupils regularly volunteer in the local community. Placements range from working in local charity shops to helping in nursing homes with elderly residents. Some pupils help train the football team at Whitchurch County Primary School, while others visit the Prep at Mount Kelly to work with our younger pupils in their games lessons, help create models at the Airfix club, or take part in music and dance.
The School is very grateful to our local community for the support they have shown our pupils by allowing them to work in various charity shops on the high street. The experience has been invaluable as they have mixed with staff and customers while learning to price up clothes and books, cashier work and even barista skills. Pupils helping at residential and nursing homes have also been made very welcome. One of our pupils told us that she had been inspired by a conversation she had with an elderly gentleman at the nursing home she visits on a Saturday; another has spent enjoyable time playing musical bingo and entertaining residents with hangman.
Carolyn Tossell, teacher at the College, explained “We hope the experience will bring benefits on both sides: our pupil are meeting people of all ages and in different environments, learning skills of team-working and resourcefulness whilst trying out new activities. The local community, meanwhile, are enjoying the company, eagerness and willingness of our young people.”
Some of our pupil volunteers have also shared their thoughts:
"When I was told I was going to volunteer at Whitchurch school, I did not know what to expect. I have been helping to coach Years 5 and 6 in football. I have thoroughly enjoyed what I have done so far. I have met some funny and passionate young athletes, and have found it useful in communicating to a different audience."
"Working at The Donkey Sanctuary charity shop makes me feel happy. I really enjoy work with them, and always have high expectations on a Thursday."
"I have been volunteering at the Donkey Sanctuary shop since September. I have learnt how to use the tills, and how to help with customers' needs. I have also had the opportunity to make coffee and tea for customers. It is a great experience."
"I volunteer in the Oxfam bookshop. The other volunteers are very friendly and encouraging, so I really enjoy the time I'm working there."
"I was invited to the Oxfam Christmas dinner where I met more volunteers and talked about their experiences. I have loved volunteering and have learnt there is more happiness in giving than in receiving."
"I am working in the children's hospice shop, on the till and helping to put up the prices and products. I had a lot of fun interacting with the customers and the workers there."
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