#SASWeCare response to COVID-19
At a time when gestures of support and goodwill can make all the difference and with a pertinent school motto ('Non Nobis Nati' - born not for ourselves), the School’s Partnership programme rapidly shifted from its usual focus and mobilised to support the local community in number of different ways.
We rolled out a new social media campaign with the hashtag #SASWeCare to reach out to the local community to offer assistance and responded to requests for help.
To provide the best practical and emotional support we could during the pandemic for our local community and for the school pupils, staff and alumni to expand and develop the community links that we had already established as part of our Partnership and Community Link programs.
The Head of Partnership asked for volunteers from the school staff to support elderly members of the community who were self-isolating.
Partnership students who could not visit their usual placements in Primary schools made puzzle books which were printed and sent to the schools for their pupils.
Teachers shared lessons and Power Points with local schools to help with remote learning.
Our School Library donated books to one of our Partnership school's book appeal.
We sent Christmas packages to all the elderly local residents who would usually attend our Christmas Party.
Donations of PPE safety goggles to local agencies including the NHS hospitals, GP services, care homes, and schools including partnership primary schools. Individual pupils also made their own contributions.
A Sixth Form student shared church music with the community.
Food and snacks from the school kitchen, Sixth Form centre and sports facilities were donated to Open Door (a local homeless centre that has been very busy during coronavirus) and the Community Response Kitchen, Alperton (feeding NHS staff, key workers and vulnerable groups in the community).
The school also supported Shelter (homeless charity) and had a ‘Lock-Down, Suit Up’ initiative where pupils and staff are invited to wear suits or their school uniform to raise money for the charity.
Sixth Form pupils put together puzzle books and quizzes to send to the partnership primary schools. They also sent folders of poems, letters and pictures to the Care Homes, school alumni and some elderly members of the community who were self-isolating.
The Development Office reached out to vulnerable/isolated Old Albanians and offered support and we included them in our Christmas mailings.
The whole school community came together to offer support. Both teaching and non-teaching staff were involved as well as all the pupils and some alumni.
Whilst no formal assessments were carried out, the offers of support for the campaign from staff, pupils and Old Albanians was heart-warming and the many messages of thanks from the groups involved brought about a very positive sense of community and coming together in difficult times.
The 80 Lower Sixth Partnership and Community Link pupils participated every Friday afternoon when they would usually be out on placement in a Care Home or Partnership School.
Pupils from the whole school were invited to participate in the distribution of letters and pictures for the Care Homes and the charity campaign and to share their own personal contributions to the local community.
The project started during the first lockdown in March and the #SASWeCare campaign is still ongoing. The school plans to continue to bring the community together with further projects and to inspire their pupils to live the school motto 'Non Nobis Nati'.