An annual Award of £500 will be made to one student with the ambition to volunteer abroad as part of a gap year or extended summer experience.
Following talks by Steve Summers (of Outreach), sixth form students are being encouraged to think of volunteering abroad as a meaningful part of a gap year – a chance to give something back but also a real chance to build some valuable life skills and experiences before advancing on to University or apprenticeships.
For The Weald this is a natural extension of the school-led volunteer experience that takes place in Year 11 (this year to Uganda). Many students return enthused about their group experience, with a passion to contribute further. This Award highlights how students can do this independently after leaving school, and offers the sort of financial support required to make it happen.
Supported by Outreach International throughout, volunteers work in sustainable, community-led projects in the areas of education, social welfare or conservation. This might build on an existing passion or skill set and/or inspire young volunteers on their future study and career choices.
All students wanting to participate can apply for the Award, with applications being shortlisted for final presentations, from which one winner will be picked.
The process is designed to offer the students some healthy, competitive experience before entering the job market, with students being required to present a strong case for the Award that differentiates them from their peers. Applications must be in by January 7th.
For Steve Summers, Director of Outreach International, this is more about the mission he has set for his social enterprise. “Part of our goal as a social enterprise is to promote the numerous benefits of volunteering, whether at home or abroad, for the good of the volunteer as well as receiving project. We are delighted to be able to do this with one of our local Sussex schools, with the support of our local Rotary club.
We hope that by creating the Award we not only put the spotlight on volunteering, but also broaden the horizons of the students of The Weald. Volunteering offers a wonderful opportunity to work alongside inspirational people who are doing great things in developing countries and it is perhaps the best way to understand more about the needs of our global neighbours”.
For more information call Steve Summers on 01903 746 900