Bede’s Pupils Make a Difference

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On Friday 21 June, hundreds of First Year and Lower Fifth pupils volunteered for a range of local charities and community organisations as part of the School’s ‘Make a Difference Day’.

The pupils got involved in a wide variety of activities, from teaching at local prep schools and sorting through donations at St Wilfred’s Hospice, to helping to take care of the animals at Drusilla’s Zoo and organsing a beach clean.

Below is a small snapshot of what our pupils got up to:

Pupils in Bloomsbury House got involved in a variety of activities, from organising a beach clean at Brighton seafront to helping with animal care. Mrs Liz Devereux, who will be Bloomsbury’s new Housemistress in the next academic year, lists just some of the activities that the girls took part in: “Bella spent the day helping with Riding for the Disabled. She assisted in helping both disabled children and adults by leading their rides and helping with general horse care.

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“Daisy attended Rosehill Prep, where she celebrated French Day and helped the early year’s children with drawing, colouring and sticking. The staff were really pleased to see her back.

“Tilly volunteered at Vinehall Prep, where she helped the Juniors with their morning classes, looked after the little ones during their Sports Day races, and helped to set up for the whole-school Sports Day on the Saturday. The staff and parents were pleased to see her and said she had been a great help.”

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A group of pupils from Camberlot House volunteered with Hailsham Foodbank to help sort food in the depot and collect donations in Waitrose. The group collected a total of 166kg of food and £97.71 in cash donations. A representative from Hailsham Foodbank says, “I have undertaken three collections in Waitrose, and this collection was one of the biggest donations of food items received. Thank you to all the pupils who volunteered their time.”

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Pupils from Charleston House spent time at a variety of organisations, including the Animal Management Centre at Plumton College, Amex Stadium and Bede’s Prep.

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Ayaka and Elie volunteered at the Sunrise Care Home in Eastbourne. Ms Laure Finat-Duclos, Charleston House Tutor, says, “Ayaka and Elie made a real difference to the residents, and the activity manager was delighted with their politeness, kindness and positive attitude.”

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Pupils from Crossways House spent the day at Down’s View School in Woodingdean, which takes care of children with severe learning difficulties. Miss Pamela Dolton, Crossways House Tutor, says, “The girls were split into three groups: the first designed simple, sensory outdoor activity games; the second cleared overgrown shrubs and tree debris from an area which will be turned into a Forest School; and the third assisted with the children’s Curriculum Day on the theme ‘Under the Sea’. The girls were exceptional.”

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Tom, Lower Fifth pupil from Deis House, visited his local church in Horam. He says, “I cleared all of the weeds from a gravel area at the entrance to the Church and between the memorial stones of people that had passed away. After that, I helped an electrician fit some new LED lights inside the church.

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Before and after Tom's handiwork

“At lunchtime, I had lunch with a group of people from Age Concern,” Tom continues. “I spoke with an 88-year-old man who used to be in the Army, and I was fascinated by what he had achieved in his life. We talked about how he played football everyday with his team in the basecamp and even out on the battlefield. I told him about all the amazing opportunities that everyone is given at Bede’s and how much sport I play here. He then came outside while I was gardening in the afternoon to tell me that he was very impressed that I was doing what I was doing. This simply made my day.”

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The boys of Dorms House spent the day helping out at the local zoo, Drusilla's. Mr Reu Hickman, Dorms Deputy Housemaster, says “The morning was spent sweeping paths, cleaning signs and picking litter. Once the park was sparkling, it was time to get acquainted with the animals – the Lorikeets being a particular hit! A conservation talk in the afternoon rounded the day off.”

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The girls in Dorter House were split into three groups that went to the St Wilfrid’s Hospice distribution centre, the Holy Trinity church in the village and the Mohair Centre.

Mrs Alex Murphy, Dorter Housemistress, passes on some of the messages from the girls:

St Wilfred’s Hospice group: “We went to the Hospice’s Distribution Centre and Furniture store and the six of us worked in two teams of three, alternating roles. In the Distribution centre, we helped by sorting clothes packing the winter clothes to be stored over the summer then redistributed to the organisation’s charity shops. We bagged up so many clothes that there was a mountain of blue bags which provided impressive evidence of our hard work. In the furniture store, we rearranged displays, hung up bed sheets and cleared out a section of the store which had been redesigned.

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“It was a wonderful day during which we learned a lot about the charity’s work and we hope that we truly made a difference.”

Holy Trinity Church group: “We went to the Chapel to paint, do some gardening, and help with some brass cleaning. By the end of the morning, we had pulled out a lot of weeds and stinging nettles, and even painted a bench and a fence. After this, we went into the village to do some litter picking and visited the Bede’s Health and Wellbeing Centre’s garden to help with the BEdian Project.”

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Mohair Centre group: “Ten of us went to the Mohair Centre - a farm-based nursery and after-school club for children. We went to a little garden and pulled out stinging nettles and weeds. We also painted some benches and a fence. We enjoyed painting because it was fun and good to get messy.

A group of pupils from Knights House travelled to the Cuckoo Trail near Polegate, where they met local Chairman Councillor Doodes, who joined them for part of the two-hour walk and litter pick. Ethan, First Year, says, “With the sun shining and birds singing, the walk and litter pick was thoroughly enjoyed by all. We were then picked up from Hailsham and taken back to Bede’s where we sorted the rubbish and recycling into piles of plastic, glass, paper and metal.”

Rex, First Year, adds, “I feel really proud to have engaged in Make a Difference Day, because now I know that there is less litter in the world owing to our efforts!”

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Mr Peter Goodyer, Headmaster at Bede’s, comments, “We are incredibly proud of all of our pupils involved in this year’s Make a Difference Day – they all showed true community spirit, which is very much at the core of our school’s ethos.”


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