Lower Sixth Volunteering

Since September, members of the Lower Sixth have been volunteering with St Joseph’s Specialist Trust, which is an independent specialist school which works with students with complex learning difficulties, many of whom are on the autistic spectrum. We have had a long-standing six-year partnership with the school which we continue to build upon.

Each girl was paired with a girl from St Joseph’s and we begun our conservation work at Sayers Croft; this consisted of anything from bramble bashing to making clay animals. The girls found the relationship they developed with their partner incredibly rewarding and valuable. This started from small and infrequent conversations at the beginning of our time there and ended with debates about who our favourite celebrity was.

We made many memories with both the girls and on the bus rides to and from our placements. Before we could go however, we had to find wellies which somehow always ended up at opposite ends of the common room. Some of our favourite activities included our caving experience, despite the temporarily lost phone in a ball pit, and den building, although its roof did not prevent us from getting wet! We were also invited to their school for lunch for some of the most memorable toastie fillings (the Brie and pear was a personal favourite) with some great board games to follow. We all quickly discovered the girls were better at ‘charades’ than we were. These activities allowed us to have a deeper understanding of the challenges that face these girls and enabled us to see how we can connect with them.

Overall, we have been honoured to have this partnership with the St Joseph’s Specialist Trust, and through it we have been able to see how we can make a difference with these girls as they complete their DofE volunteering whilst they undertake this conservation work. There are so many memories which we have made along the way and we hope to see them all again very soon.

Emily, L6

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