Trinity School Volunteering Programme
Students from the 3rd to the 6th year take part in a variety of opportunities to assist the local community, by giving their time, skills and commitment. Their work helps them to experience the challenges that exist in the wider community and understand that they can do something to help, whilst building their own practical and social skills and learning to work as a team member.
Students in the Lower Sixth volunteer for one afternoon a week for a term, which enables them to develop skills and relationships with the organisations and clients. The opportunities are in environmental work, residential homes, charity shops, schools and practical work in clients’ homes. A Neighbourhood Care Agency reports that ‘our client was very pleased with having her plants cut back and leaves gathered and they stayed later to finish the job’ and ‘our clients are full of praise for their friendliness and enjoy their company.’ Residents at our linked residential homes may have friends and family who live too far away to drop in so our students are very welcome to have a chat and assist with activities such as baking, pampering and quizzes. Our link with Benson Primary Academy has enabled our students to plan and run computing, sport and art sessions for the children to enjoy and we have also assisted in the classroom at Oasis Academy and Cumnor Girls School as well as assisting with sport at Cumnor Boys and carrying out one-to-one activities with children at Rutherford School, who have profound learning difficulties and complex medical conditions. Feedback showed that ‘teachers and nursing staff have been impressed with how students have engaged with our pupils and their positive outlook and willingness to learn.’ We are also delighted to welcome the children from Castle Hill ELP Unit for children with autism, who have enjoyed varied musical sessions. We also assist at Charity Shops and the Purley Cross Centre, helping to train older people in the use of IT and creating publicity documents.
Up to 180 3rd, 4th and 5th Form students volunteer once a term on Field Days. They assist staff and volunteers who manage our open spaces and have learnt about bushcraft, pondwork and clearance work at many venues, including Kenley Common, Heathfield Ecology Centre, South Norwood Country Park, Happy Valley and Wandle Park. The warden at Heathfield commented: ‘they worked hard at every task given, from turning over compost bins, collecting leaves for compost, cutting back nettles and clearing ditches.’ We have also entertained the residents of our local homes with music, joined the Orpheus Centre students in drama activities and treated the children from Highfield Junior School to days of classics, sport, Chinese, biology and DT. Our students work with the children in groups, encouraging and assisting them.
Our Community Christmas Party
This is a highlight for us as we welcome 150 local guests for tea and entertainment. The whole Trinity Community is involved with 150 staff, students and parents assisting with refreshments, transport and entertainment, which consists of a quiz, raffle, bingo, drama, poems and music. Our guests value the company of our students at the tables and all join in the Carol Sing-a-long at the end. Our students also enjoy assisting at the annual NSPCC Tea and Concert by serving refreshments and providing musical entertainment and we are delighted to host this event.