Community Service Programme
As part of the Community Service Organisation boys complete a minimum of sixty recorded hours of community service. This tends to be in projects local to them, such as after-school groups, volunteering at local libraries and charity shops, helping out at local places of worship and social centres or teaching new musical or linguistic skills to individuals in their communities. Pupils also volunteer in organisations with which the School has more formal partnerships.
We have, for many years, worked in partnership with the Salmon Youth Centre in Bermondsey. The Centre has been reaching out to young people in inner city London for over a hundred years, seeking to inspire young people to reach their potential and contribute positively to the community in which they live. Boys from CLS help support their weekly sessions in activities such as adventure, arts, drama, music and sports. A more recent addition to our many partnerships is Maggie’s Barts Cancer Centre. Built on the grounds of NHS cancer hospitals, Maggie’s Centres provide free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their family and friends, following the ideas of cancer care originally laid out by Maggie Keswick Jones. Boys from CLS work with the Barts Centre, mainly to help with their administration and fundraising activities.
CLS is also a licensed provider of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme and approximately 120 boys complete either the Gold, Silver or Bronze Award every year. The Award requires them to undertake and complete extensive volunteering work. All participants volunteer for at least a hour a week over a six, twelve or eighteen month period, depending on the Award.
At CLS, we seek to nurture a deep-seated sense of social responsibility. Our pupils know that there are others less fortunate than they are and strive to make a positive difference at school and beyond.
A key element of our Strategic Vision 2019-14 is: 'Through partnership and opportunities for voluntary service and charity work, our pupils will understand the responsibilities they have to society. We will seek to embed within them a commitment to service, and an understanding that they can make a difference, right now.'
The prinicipal aim of the CSO programme is to ensure our pupils are contributing to society through voluntary work.
The Salmon Youth Centre and Maggies Barts are very dependent on the willingness of people to volunteer to support their programmes.
The CSO programme and DofE have been in place at CLS for decade. In recent years, both have extended and expanded significantly.
A member of staff is given responsiblity for the coordinating CSO.
Three members if staff are given sepcific responsibility for coordinating Duke of Edinburgh (Gold, Silver and Bronze)
In 2019 an estimated 7000 hours of volunteering was completed by CLS pupils. Approximately 200 pupils are enagaged in CSO and Duke of Edinburgh.
The hours invested by CLS pupils in volunteering has an impact across a range of organisations.
The Deputy Director of the Salmon Youth Centre in Bermondsey writes, ‘It’s been a very fruitful partnership working with The City of London School, we have had a great number of boys support our generic youth club sessions as well as specialised sport and art sessions. Not only do the boys give much needed support, teaching sports, arts and music but we see so much learning and growth from the young men as they develop their communication and leadership skills in the clubs. It is wonderful to see the young men come into a very diverse setting and get stuck in supporting and building relationships with disadvantaged young people with a really positive can-do attitude.'
Hannah Bosley, the Centre Fundraising Manager at Maggie's Barts writes, 'City of London school have been a huge support to Maggie’s Barts throughout our infancy. The community service volunteers have helped us to raise awareness and even income for our centre by helping at events, helping with day to day tasks, brainstorming ideas and even hosting their own assemblies about Maggie’s. It has been a pleasure to work with each group and watch as they grow in confidence whilst putting their skills and enthusiasm to good use for the benefit of people with cancer and their families and friends.'
Years 9 to 13.