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Wednesday, 13 May 2015
Last year, the Sixth Form won Bolton School a place at the vInspired National Awards Ceremony, as the School was ranked top in the region with the highest proportion of students registering their volunteering hours and achieving awards at 50 or 100 hours of voluntary work. This year, the Sixth Form have done it once again, winning the School a £1,000 award for having the most students who have logged the necessary number of hours to be awarded a vInspired Certificate!
Pupils in the Sixth Form are encouraged each year to join the national vInspired awards scheme, which rewards young people for completing 10, 50 or 100 hours of voluntary work; the vast majority of Bolton School Sixth Formers who take part achieve at least 50 hours of volunteering. The School helps pupils to achieve their certificates by providing community action opportunities both at School and in the wider community. These can include reading with younger pupils in the Junior Schools or at local secondary schools, assisting at hospices and care homes, and much more. This year one of the opportunities for Sixth Form girls was getting involved with Tea at the Riley, monthly tea parties for the older generation.
Alex Hopkinson said, “I loved all the different volunteering opportunities I could do without being focussed on a career. I could be interested in other things and it gave me more options.”
Emma Rayner agreed, saying, “I thought the range of volunteering opportunities in School has been great this year, particularly the chance to help talented young people with fewer opportunities than ourselves. Also the push to do volunteering outside of School is great for gaining independence and also helps those outside the School community.”
As well as giving back to their local communities, the volunteering project also help to develop pupils’ individual skills. Waleed Hussan was one of the pupils who volunteered at Bolton Hospice; talking about his experience, he said, “I enjoyed volunteering as it allowed me to empathise with the elderly and terminally ill, and helped me to understand their situation. It helped to develop my communication skills as well.”
Sam Tilley, who helped to train junior Hockey players as part of his volunteering experience, also said, “I really enjoyed the hockey because of the sense of achievement at passing on the skills I’ve learned. It also really improved my ability to take the lead and explain things to younger children.”
Tayyibah Khalid summed up many pupils’ vInspired community action experience: “This is the first year I’ve started volunteering and I’ve really enjoyed it! Giving back to the local community was a very rewarding experience.”
The School’s prize is a student development grant of £1,000. This grant is designed to help students develop new or existing skills, or to support their onward progression into further volunteering, training or education. The School is planning on getting feedback from current Year 12 pupils on how they think the money would be best spent in order to benefit them in their future volunteering.
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