Community Action Programme
Sixth form students volunteer one afternoon a week in a variety of placements across Brighton and the surrounding area. Current partners are:
Blind Veterans UK
British Heart Foundation
City Academy Whitehawk
Meridian Community Primary School
Oxfam Charity Shops
St Bartholomew's Primary School
Peacehaven Community School
St Marks Primary School
St Margaret's CofE Primary School
Whitehawk After School Project
At Blind Veterans, activities undertaken include reading to residents, assisting with their activities programme, volunteering with their oral history project (2015).
Our school programmes, students assist in the classroom and assist reading practice in reception and KS1, assist with arts activites and after school clubs.
Our charity shop partners give students a variety of projects including sorting donations, pricing and merchandising and customer service.
Students volunteer an afternoon a week in local charities and local primary schools. This helps them build experience and relationships with a wide variety of people from different backgrounds and exposes them to difficulties that affect other people lives. The experience is beneficial to the community, as strengthening relationships with the community will make it a better place. By volunteering, students provide useful time and skills, can make a difference to individuals in need in the local community, and help others. Students themselves as a learning experience and helping them build life skills.
For many years, Roedean have had a volunteering programme available to individual girls, this is recognised as being an important part of their education and important for the school community to reach out to into the wider community to widen its public benefit and broadened to the whole sixth form by timetabling the activities into the school day, making it available to all students. In 2014, it was formalised into the Community Action Programme (CAP), a new and exciting programme of community work that all sixth form students could be involved in.
The programme was identified, set up and led by the Community Programme Coordinator and Community Engagement Officer for the academic year 2014/15 and handed over to the Co-curricular coordinator for the academic year 2015/16.
Students volunteer every wednesday afternoon. Placements are arranged through a mix of staff and students arranging placements. Some are based on school site and some are based at partner premises with school transport provided to transport students. This has a financial implication for the school with a programme coordinator and transportation costs.
Resources also required are the placements' willingness and time and support for the students volunteering. Roedean requires them to provide risk assessments and their safeguarding policies and students are sometimes required to complete application forms.
63 students are currently volunteering at 17 placements for 24 weeks (varying, but approximately 3 hours each week) across the academic year. This level of volunteering has now been going for 2 years.
Individual students fill out their CAP booklets at the beginning of each year, including up to 3 personal targets for their individual volunteering placements. They keep a diary of their placement visits, which their placement supervisors can sign and give comments of how the volunteers are getting on.
The pupils participating are aged 16-18 years of age. They are given the opportunity to choose their placements, set up by the school for international boarding students, or create their own if they have a particular desire to follow a line of volunteering or are living in the local area.
This is a weekly activity taking up to 3 hours a week. It is likely to continue for many years to come, as long as partnerships with local charities can continue and the school is able to support it.