By Form 6 pupil Daniel (pictured right)
I recently took part in an inaugural Life project with fellow Form 6 pupils Katrina and Ansh in partnership with local care hospice LOROS at Uppingham School. LOROS is a hospice that focuses on palliative care and its work is essential for many people needing end of life care in Leicestershire and Rutland. The Life project wanted to create an opportunity for young people across Leicestershire and Rutland to take leadership in problem solving and imaginative solutions to one of four proposed challenges.
Each team was made up of around five people from schools across the counties and were given the task of thinking of a creative solution to present to a panel of judges. We attended an online ‘crash course’ led by an international university on possible ways to approach our challenge. The problem I was hoping to find a solution for was how charities like LOROS can recruit and utilise volunteers more effectively.
In short, our solution was to create a new opportunity that also focuses on the ingenuity of the younger generation by setting up a volunteering platform which nurtures an atmosphere for teenagers to develop their skills through volunteering by going through a tier-based system that rewards vital volunteering in the local communities.
The first time I met with the other members of my team, in person, was the day of the presentation, where the resounding response to my initial introduction seemed to be a comment on how they didn’t expect me to be as tall as I was.
The day was a huge success for all involved, with our hard work throughout the past weeks culminating with my team being announced as the team with the best solution. This was a fantastic achievement and has led to more amazing opportunities.
At the beginning of the summer term, I was invited, along with my team, to the main LOROS hospice for a tour and to discuss the possible implementation of our solution. This was a hugely positive meeting and a brilliant insight into the work of the hospice, and we took significant steps forward with a clear aim to make our solution a real possibility.
Following this meeting, our team were faced with our next challenge, an online presentation of our idea to the volunteering steering committee of LOROS. The supportive voices of the committee fuelled our collective desire to make plans for bringing in our idea to the hospice. We are now our planning to spend a few days in the hospice over the summer piloting our idea.
This experience has given me a new perspective on how young people can drive substantial change and how we can help the community we live in as much as possible. I strongly believe that Oakham School has the correct atmosphere for projects like this and I hope I can work to create a project that allows the pupils at Oakham to engage with the community and use their skills in order to bring about positive change.