Over the past two weeks, more than 90 students from St George’s School Windsor Castle have taken part in various volunteering activities across the community. Organised by the school as part of its St George’s Award programme, the two ‘Active Service Days’ also raised more than £1,400 for the participating charities.
As part of the initiative, on Thursday 18 May, Windsor Foodshare welcomed half of the school’s Year 5 students to join their dedicated team of volunteers in Dedworth Green Baptist Church. The children helped to sort and pack food, before assisting in distributing it to those in need. The remaining Year 5 students entertained the residents of Viscount Court retirement housing in Vansittart Road, Windsor, performing a repertoire of music, as well as helping to serve teas and coffees. They also officiated a lively game of bingo!
On the same day, Year 7 students were split between Hilltop First School in Windsor’s Clewer Hill Road, where they assumed the role of either Junior Teaching Assistant or Librarian, and King George VI Day Centre on Clarence Road, where they helped at the four-times-weekly lunch and social club. The children assisting at the club spent time talking to the attendees and taking part in various activities together, including card games and arts and crafts, before serving lunch.
On the second of the Active Service Days, on Thursday 25 May, the school’s Year 6 students spent the morning at the Thames Hospice facility on Windsor Road in Maidenhead, which was officially opened in July 2022 by the school’s former patron, Queen Elizabeth II. After spending time doing arts and crafts with patients and their families, as well as working with hospice staff to brainstorm and plan possible future fundraising activities, the students held a concert in the hospice’s cafe overlooking Bray Lake.
Prior to each Active Service Day, the participating students took part in various fundraising activities, ranging from a bake sale in aid of Thames Hospice to a ‘Wacky Run’, which saw Year 5 children finding novel ways to travel around the school’s playing fields in Home Park Private. From cartwheeling to skateboarding, blind-folded to go-karts, the children had lots of fun and travelled well over 200,000 metres in one hour. In total, the activities raised £1,427 which will be split between Thames Hospice, Windsor Foodshare and Viscount Court.
“Some of our students will have aspirations to enter into positions of leadership and influence in later life,” explained William Goldsmith, Head at St George’s School Windsor Castle. “If they are to use their positions for good, to ensure that ethical and sustainable decisions are at the heart of corporate, local and national policy making, there has to be core beliefs and a foundational understanding of the issues facing our society. As part of our vision for students to be real world ready, we want to develop this shared understanding and I couldn’t have felt prouder to see our students so engaged and focused on what they were doing across the two days.”
The students’ endeavours were also roundly praised by the organisations they visited.
Sarah Kember, Windsor Foodshare Manager, commented: “It was really great to have St George’s students in to help Windsor Foodshare. They were a great help and really showed an interest in what we were doing and why we were doing it. They showed empathy and understanding for the people we are helping and were willing to have a go at any task given. Such well-behaved, caring children and welcome back to help us at any time.”
Lynn Bima, Headteacher at Hilltop First School, said: “It was lovely to host Year 7 pupils from St George’s. They were enthusiastic and took their role of junior TA seriously. The children enjoyed the playground games and reported to me that they liked having older pupils from another school helping them with their learning. The young librarians did a super job of categorising our non-fiction books, saving our staff hours of work.”
Layla Pipe, Senior Community Fundraiser at Thames Hospice, added: “The concert was fabulous and the children were a credit to the school.”
The children also received a card, signed from the staff and members of the social club at King George VI Day Centre, which read: “A big thank you from everyone at King George VI Day Centre for a really enjoyable morning spent with you all.” The card concluded with the quote often ascribed to Carl W Buehner, “They may forget what you said, but they will never forget the way you made them feel.”
To read more about the St George’s Award, click here.