The awards, organised by The Hyde Group, a housing association, recognised Seaford College’s involvement in the Whyke Estate, Chichester, as part of the school’s Community Action Day in July.
Using a list provided by social services, students and staff carried out a variety of tasks to help those who are registered as vulnerable by the housing association, due to physical disability, learning difficulties, or old age. Paul Griffin, Head of History, coordinated the day, and said: ‘a lady had tears in her eyes as we removed the rubbish which had been building up in her back garden.’ Lucas Thornley, a Sixth Form pupil, added: ‘it was a really good day and nice to help the community and make a difference to the vulnerable.’
In attendance at the ceremony were residents from the Whyke Estate. They remembered the work of the Seaford students, and very much appreciated everything they did to help their community.
Paul Griffin, who received the award on behalf of the school, commented: ‘with schools across the country being encouraged to make a meaningful difference to their communities, it is great that the work of our pupils on the Community Action Day has gained recognition with the community in Chichester.’
Alongside Seaford, there were eight different organisations nominated for the ‘Community Project of the Year’ award. One of the nominees was ROC, a national charity, who worked with Seaford on the Whyke Estate project. Paul Griffin said: ‘although organisations such as ROC work day in and day out in places like the Whyke Estate, it is rare to find a group of school children helping out in this way.’
Seaford’s involvement in the Whyke Estate has inspired Chichester High School for Girls to undertake a project in the same area, following on from the good work carried out by Seaford. Having won the South Region awards, it is likely that Seaford College will go through to the National Awards, and the school looks forward to returning to the Whyke Estate as part of the Community Action Day in 2015.