Community Day 2024: Year 12 Volunteers Get Stuck In

Following the success of Colfe’s first Community Day last year as part of the school’s partnership with the BrunBear Foundation charity, this year 60 enthusiastic students signed up and got stuck in, throwing themselves wholeheartedly into the activities. A total of 300 hours was spent volunteering across nine different organisations, covering a variety of activities ranging from primary schools to environmental conservation.

Colfe’s enjoys a close partnership with the BrunBear Foundation, which organises the Community Day with the school’s Director of Partnerships, Zoe Kendrick. This gives students the opportunity to make a tangible difference to the community around Lewisham and Greenwich – benefiting not only those around them but also students themselves, who gain valuable insight and experience in a diverse range of activities.

Among the organisations involved were Rushey Green Primary School and St Winifred’s Primary School, where pupils provided some much-appreciated in-class support. Headteacher Lisa said the students were “dedicated and hardworking – a credit to Colfe’s.”

Elsewhere, students worked outdoors: St Mary’s Church Therapy Garden and Wild Cat Wilderness saw students helping with garden maintenance whilst at Beckenham Place Park students got stuck into river wading for conservation of the River Ravensbourne. Some students distributed leaflets for Sports4All locally or lent a hand cleaning the greenhouse at Sydenham Gardens.

Ava (Y12) worked at Sydenham Gardens and said, “it’s really important to give back to the community. The garden supports people in the early stages of dementia and it was cool to create a clean space for them to garden.”

The organisations involved in the day were delighted with the pupil participation. Maria at Wildcat Wilderness said, ‘the pupils did some great work and made a real dent in helping restore the woodland’. Similarly, Marion and Wendy at St Mary’s Church said, “they achieved a great deal, which we’re most grateful for!”

Edwin Lampert, founder of the BrunBear Foundation echoed praise of the community day: “The growth of this programme in just its second year is truly remarkable. We’ve seen firsthand how the expanded reach has amplified the positive impact on our local community. The students are enthusiastic participants, and it’s inspiring to hear them reflect on how the experience has strengthened their bonds with the local community and also fueled their personal growth.”

The resounding success of this second Community Day has only reinforced to students the huge importance of volunteering, which has positively impacted the environment, the pupils themselves and the wider community: a brilliant experience for all involved.

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