Following the success of last year’s Community Action Day, Seaford College held an even bigger day for 2014. The event sees students and staff volunteering their time for local causes. John Green, Headmaster joined the College last year and created the initiative at Seaford College. John said: “the main idea is to make a positive difference to the surrounding community. Due to the success last year, Wednesday afternoons are now blocked out in the timetable for weekly community events. Our students are extremely fortunate to study and live in such a beautiful part of the country, it is only right that they put something back”. Some 220 students from years 9, 10 & 12 helped out at over 20 community projects. Students returned from the community action day having confronted personal challenges and learnt something about themselves as well.
Students & staff did everything from tidying the beach at Bracklesham Bay to cleaning the war memorial in Graffham, marshaling a Tour de France themed activity day at Oakwood Prep School to clearing weeds from the pond at Petworth House.
Paul Griffin, Head of History, took students for the second year to help the vulnerable at the Whyke Estate. Using a list provided by social services students and staff carried out jobs that are needed in the community, helping people who are registered as vulnerable by the housing association due to physical disability, learning difficulties or old age. Paul Griffin who coordinated the day said: “a lady had tears in her eyes as we removed rubbish which had been building up in her back garden”. Lucas Thornley from year 12 said: “it was a really good day and nice to help the community and make a difference to the vulnerable.”
At Brent Lodge in Sidlesham, (an animal sanctuary for injured birds). Students fed abandoned baby seagulls, cleaned out the owls & cleaned cages. Ben Cutler said: “I have always wanted to look after baby animals”, he held a baby hedgehog and it curled up in his hand into a little ball.
A cheque for £800 was presented to the Air Ambulance in Marden Kent. Four students & five members of staff from Walled Garden West, at Seaford College, tackled the Three Peaks Challenge to raise money for the Air Ambulance appeal. A total of 20 students have also taken part in three 10k runs to raise funds.
Seaford students raised over £80 for charity from packing bags at Sainsburys in Chichester and local Petworth residents benefitted from a free carwash at the Chestnut Avenue carpark.
Residents at a care home in Steyning were treated to musical performances from Jaime Pardy, Yolanda Gumpo & Lexie White. Residents from Elizabeth House in Bognor enjoyed being taken down to Macari’s cafe for free coffee & cake. Students carried out species watching to help the Graffham Conservation Society. They spent the day counting butterflies on the Southdowns. The society have been carrying out a lot of conservation work and will use the survey to test how effective their work has been. While the Seaford students were out and about in the community the facilities at the College were put to good use. 120 children from Petworth Primary School spent a fun day of music, sport, drama and poetry. The Royal Marines (the Visibility Team) came in to do a demonstration and organised team building events.
Next year John Green is planning to make the event a Charity and Community Day. John said: “I want to use the day to raise vital funds for the community.” Seaford College is always looking for new partnerships. If anyone would like to be considered please contact our Community Coordinator, Clive Thorpe at email@example.com.