The school has been working with the centre for a number of years. This started simply as a harvest donation but has expanded to include our students volunteering at a number of their fund raising events, clients from the centre coming into school to talk about their experiences and for the past two years we have hosted a big event at school where clients from the centre come and enjoy a day of art, music, sport, food and swimming ( by far the most popular activity). The day is hosted by students in the 6th form and staff and is hugely successful.
We are aiming to develop further our links with the centre. Plans are afoot for us to host a few more days where the clients can come to school and use our IT facilities, to further expand their English Language learning and for us to offer some specialist teaching.
In return our students will gain a wider understanding of the plight of refugees and migrants in this country and participate in joint events with the centre.
A childrens author told us about the centre during one of her sessions in school and one of the school staff made contact re: supporting the centre through a Harvest donation.
The partnership has developed since then and one school staff member attends the management meetings at the centre.
The school has supported the centre financially through funding the day out at school whilst the students in all years have raised money through charity events - they are all aware of the work of the centre.
For our students they have gained an insight of what life is like for migrants and refugees and understand many of the issues surrounding what can be quite a controversial subject. By meeting people first hand they have gained an understanding of what it is like to be displaced from everything you knew at home. Some of the stories are quite harrowing.
Clients from the centre have spoken to students from Yr4 to Yr13 and the Harvest collection in school wide involving all years. 6th form students have volunteered at the centre and organise the event in the Summer term
This is an ongoing and expanding project.