Once again, the College held its annual volunteering week in November. The week focuses on giving students a taste of what it is like to volunteer.
The College runs a number of clubs and societies which enable students to volunteer regularly. One of these is Coppers Award, a longstanding partnership between the College and Henry Tyndale School which takes place every Wednesday at the College. Our second year student leaders choreograph and produce a production which is then performed by the Henry Tyndale students in the spring term, alongside their first year student buddies. Additionally there is a lunchtime session called Copperlink where students work with Henry Tyndale students to make props for the show and work on other projects. As part of Volunteering Week, a group of students were given a tour of Henry Tyndale and an induction session with one of their Senior Leadership Team with a view to volunteer at the school. Two students are already volunteering and there are more in the process of signing up. Mehal Shah, Acting Headteacher at Henry Tyndale School enthused about the benefits of this long standing project; “The Coppers link with Farnborough is one of the most meaningful and impactful links we have; students with severe and complex needs work with their peers towards a common goal. The journey builds social relationships, empathy, knowledge and understanding and supports our students to build confidence and independence. This project positively impacts both Henry Tyndale and Farnborough students, not just on a creative side, but from a personal, social and emotional perspective”.
As a result of volunteering week we have also signed up five new students to volunteer at our weekly Pass IT On sessions. These sessions run on a Monday evening and see around 15-20 senior citizens come into College to work with our amazing student volunteers on all things related to IT. One of our regular Pass IT On clients, David, commented, “The students learn how us “oldens” tick and we learn from them about today’s modern technology. I learn something new every time I come in!”
One of the highlights of the week is a stream of 50 Year 5 students from St Bernadette’s School walking to the College, all excited to be working on a maths project with 12 of our A level maths students. This project provides stretch and challenge opportunities for both sets of students - as highlighted by first year student, Shehneela Husain; “Volunteering with the St Bernadette’s students not only gave me confidence in working as a leader but also gave me a means to improve my communication skills - both of which are vital for the future. Helping the children was not only gratifying but also fun!”
Another project the College has been involved in is with Yateley Industries for the Disabled. Our graphic design students recently unveiled a new, bright logo which they designed for their charity shop as part of their rebranding to ‘Helping Hands’.
Following Volunteering Week, Rushmoor Voluntary Services (RVS) and Rushmoor Borough Council held their annual Volunteer recognition Awards ceremony. Christine Eustace, Director of Community Engagement at the College, was invited to speak at the ceremony alongside India-Rose Marriott, Student Association President and Maya Brauns, Volunteering Officer. Christine explains, “I was asked by RVS to nominate two student volunteers to receive an award, but there are so many wonderful students doing so much for their community, this didn’t feel right. RVS therefore agreed to present an award to the whole College in recognition of the 34,000 hours of volunteering undertaken throughout 2018/19”. On presenting the award, Mayor of Rushmoor, Sue Carter commented, “I am so very proud of the work undertaken by the College and its fantastic students”.
If you would like to find out about volunteering opportunities via the College please see our pages on the study directory.