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A day for students and staff to give back to the community.



Hundreds of students and staff from Seaford College in Petworth have received a huge thank you from charities, voluntary organisations and companies across West Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire following its Community Action Day (30th June) initiative.

Every year the College holds its Community Action Day to celebrate charitable acts of kindness by participating in various activities in hospitals, care homes and several charities, including Foodbanks and Stonepillow. Students and staff also help out at local sports clubs, churches and other organisations that rely on volunteers. This year there were also more than 25 eco-friendly efforts, such as a trip to the beach at Bracklesham Bay and to Queen Elizabeth Countryside Park picking up litter and ground clearing.

Colleen Hayes, Charity and Community Coordinator at Seaford College, said how exciting it was to be able to run the Day again after a break of three years due to the pandemic.

Speaking on Community Action Day, Colleen said: “We’ve been helping out at numerous places across the three counties, such as at Cat Protection in Surrey and Canine Partners in Heyshott near Midhurst making and decorating its rehab unit. There was a group at the Sage House dementia unit, and two work parties went to St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester. Some of the students shadowed doctors on the wards and others took part in a very ambitious restoration project in the Rehabilitation Gardens led by the Head of DT at Seaford, David Shaw. They’ve made benches that wheelchairs can fit under, they’ve stripped back the garden and lots more.”

Seaford College would like to thank the Woodhorn Group in Tangmere for the top soil; Marc Jones at Walberton Nursery; Martine from The Healing Garden Botanicals; and TJ Skips.

Amanda Cornish, Team Lead Occupational Therapist at St Richard’s Hospital, thanks to Seaford staff and students for their efforts and the generous donation of items that were used to help transform the garden.

“The amount achieved in such a short amount of time was staggering and the results look fantastic,” said Amanda. “Everyone is so thrilled to have a safe and inviting space to use again which looks stunning and the plants smell incredible.”

Community Action Day also involves helping out at local sports clubs, churches and other organisations, many of which have been hit by budget cuts in recent years.

“This year we’ve also incorporated the Foodbank Appeal and making up the kids’ lunch packs,” said Colleen. “With the help of students and staff we made up 450 boxes (about 6kg of food per box). We’ve also visited local foodbanks and two of our teachers went to Chichester Tesco to raise awareness and give leaflets to shoppers.”

Jenny Linford, Teacher of MFL, took a group of students to Think 18, a centre which welcomes young people with learning disabilities. The Seaford College team led drama, fitness, craft and IT activities as well as participating in a fashion show.

“I think we were all a bit nervous about what to expect and how the day would work, as well as being unsure of a new situation and new people, maybe with learning and social needs outside our areas of experience,” said Jenny. “The way in which our students interacted with everyone at the centre was amazing. Those who led sessions communicated clearly

even though they sometimes felt well out of their comfort zone. Seeing a very shy young person from Think 18, someone who had not left his carer's side for the day, walk down the catwalk with a student and blow a kiss at the end moved me to tears. We all gained a lot from our experience and felt a loving welcome that's hard to find in daily life.”

Rachel and Beth from the Chichester Forest Schools CIC said: “Wow! What an amazing day! A huge thank you to the Year 9s and the teachers that came to the secret garden. They have done a magnificent job painting the shed and gate and clearing the old tennis court so we can use it as a space again for children to play. A big thank you to you all, they were a real credit to your school.”

The Seaford College Community Action Day is not just a single day event. Many of the connections made with these groups, charities and companies that we support continue throughout the year.

Photos from the Day:




  • Community Action Day
  • Seaford Charity Committee