Since the start of the new school year, All Saints’ Academy has been running their first ‘volunteering scheme’ designed to get students out into the community and spending time with people in different settings. The first phase of the scheme was the re-introduction of the Academy’s visits to Sandfields Care Home on St George’s road. Twenty five volunteers have been visiting the care home on a rota basis once a week, spending time with the residents and their families.
For the first few visits, students spent time visiting the different lounges at Sandfields and simply having conversations with the residents, over cups of tea and cake. Year 7 students had the opportunity to have discussions on the residents’ pasts, including the toys and games that were played. One resident Howard, an award winning photographer, also took the time to explain his work and show some students how he used to take photos when he started his work 50 years ago.
The students have been involved in several activities with the Sandfields’ residents, including some holiday related craft days. During Halloween, students made pom pom spiders to decorate the main lounge area of the care home, as well as judging the annual Halloween decoration completion for the residents. The Halloween cake decorating was also a big hit!
Sandfields Care Home provide an incredible amount of activities for the residents and sometimes we are simply asked to join in with what has already been planned. With Christmas just around the corner, a Christmas sing – a – long in the main café area was a perfect way to start the season. In the run up to Christmas, we have also been making Christmas decorations with the residents which was incredibly fun. Students from all year groups were involved – making paper chains and Christmas tree decorations with the residents. We are also looking forward to hosting some of the residents here at All Saints’ for Wonder Productions pantomime ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’.
The response to the volunteering scheme has been outstanding. So many students want to be involved and make a difference to the community. The students are amazing with the residents; demonstrating the Academy values with every interaction. Next year, the second phase of the project will start, with some one off events working with other local charities including the Cheltenham Open Door project.
We have incredible students at All Saints’ and they should be proud of the work they have achieved so far!