As part of the March Service Weekend a group of Voluntary Action students helped in a number of different areas within the community. These activities ranged from bag packing in a supermarket, organising a Spring Luncheon for the elderly, planting a tree at the All Saints’ Church for Oakham in Bloom, conservation work at Launde Abbey and helping out at The Lodge in Market Overton.
Oakham School Charities Association Co-ordinator, Mr West-Sadler tells us more about his students’ time volunteering at Launde Abbey.
“Their task for the weekend was to do some gardening and tidying to help the community at Launde. Despite the rain and the mud the Oakhamians acquitted themselves excellently, getting stuck in and working hard on the various jobs allocated: tidying up hedge trimmings, sieving compost and spreading it in flower beds, collecting leaves from outside the café, digging up leeks and, most fun of all, stomping on mole hills in the sunken garden. All in all a very rewarding time.”
Meanwhile students Miles and Miranda update us about their experiences volunteering at The Lodge in Market Overton.
“I found my placement at The Lodge a very enjoyable experience, and will definitely consider it as a placement next term. It is incredibly rewarding to see the effect that you can have in just a few hours on some people’s lives. Not only that but the residents give you a better understanding of what living with disabilities is like, and how those disabilities provide their own abilities. Meeting the characters, and seeing how much they enjoy living there is really nice to see, and shows how good The Lodge is at providing a purpose for all of its residents, and helping them to utilise their abilities.”
Miles Form 5
“I really enjoyed going to The Lodge in Market Overton for Service Weekend. In the morning after we arrived, we cut the branches off some willow trees for the residents to use. We had a break in the resident-run café, where they had for sale various items that the residents had made, e.g. jams, preserves, pillow cases, soap, and Mother’s Day cards. After lunch we met with some of the residents in the hall, where we chatted and did some jigsaws. It was really interesting to learn how the residents use The Lodge with all the different facilities and opportunities it offers to the residents. I really enjoyed meeting the residents, as they were very friendly and welcoming.”
Miranda Form 5
Voluntary Action is an important part of life at Oakham School giving the students the chance to put the needs of others ahead of their own. Two weekends a year are dedicated to different types of service and Voluntary Actions, which allows students to develop these skills and values in greater depth.