6,000 guests and counting: Oakham's annual Harvest Party is another 'service' success!

Scrumptious tea and cakes, along with sparkling entertainment, was the order of the day at Oakham School’s annual Harvest Party held on Monday afternoon.  The 200 elderly guests, who travelled from all over Rutland to attend, enjoyed being served a delicious afternoon tea made by the pupils’ themselves, together with singing, games and good conversation.

With this popular event catering for around 200 guests each year, there have been over 6,000 attendees spanning over three decades.  Many of the visitors had attended numerous times before and not only described how they look forward to the event each year, but they also told Oakham’s new Headmaster exactly what to expect.  In his introduction, Henry Price described how he had been told to anticipate “singing, bingo and mischief” from the crowd who were all eagerly waiting for their entertainment to begin!

Luckily the mischief manifested only in the sharing of some quiz answers – instead the guests enjoyed taking part in bingo, as well as listening to the talents of Oakham’s musicians. A particular highlight was their own sing-along, with the crowd enjoying some old favourites including ‘New York, New York’.

“It was my honour to welcome so many members of the Rutland community to come and enjoy being a part of the Oakham family,” says Henry Price, Headmaster.  “We place great importance on community here at Oakham, and there could be no better demonstration of this than at today’s Harvest Party.  We encourage girls and boys, through all of the service activities threaded through school life, to be thoughtful and considerate members of the wider community. I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing this for myself today – being able to see just how much both the pupils and the guests take away from being a part of this lovely party.”

There were around 30 Voluntary Action students who had organised the event – from making refreshments and flower displays, to waiting on and looking after the guests. They even planted up bulbs for each and every guest to take home to enjoy over the coming months – as a lovely reminder of the day.  A well-stocked raffle was also enjoyed by all, and raised an impressive £476 for Rainbows Hospice. 

Alongside weekly activities, each year the School dedicates two weekends to ‘Service’ – where pupils take a break from lessons, sport and everyday school life, to either help others in the local community, or to undertake personal challenges of Duke of Edinburgh or CCF activities. A variety of different Voluntary Action activities took place throughout the weekend, as well as the much-loved Harvest Party, from work at Rocks by Rail, entertaining residents at The Lodge Trust in Market Overton, to helping at the Rutland Foodbank.

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