Community Partnership Programme
From mid-September to mid-February, each Monday in term time, boys work in one of the community service groups. After time spent travelling, the work session is between one and one and a half hours. The earliest group leaves Radley at 1.10pm and the latest returns about 4.20pm in time for evening lessons, which start at 4.40pm.
Aims of the Programme
- To develop a deeper sense of social responsibility in Radley boys through greater awareness of wider society
- To develop social skills of the Radley boys by broadening their experience of and engagement in the local community
- To develop specific skills of Radley boys depending on the community work undertaken (e.g. gardening skills)
- To provide useful volunteering help to our partners in the community
Projects currently include:
- Concert Parties (several groups of musicians visit residential homes for the elderly to perform music and chat over a cup of tea)
- Working as volunteers at local schools:
- Fitzharry's Secondary School (latin teaching)
- St. John Fisher Catholic Primary School, Oxford (maths mentoring)
- Radley Primary School (learning support & chess club)
- St. Swithun's Primary School (learning support)
- St. Nicolas Primary School (chess club)
- Kingfisher School (specialist school for learning difficulties)
- Windale Primary School, Oxford (maths mentoring)
- Orchard Meadow Primary School (maths mentoring)
- Edclub - acting as educational mentors via skype to street children in Nairobi
- Macintyre Trust - supporting adults with learning difficulties
- John Masefield House
- SOFEA - Didcot Food Bank distribution & education centre
- Litter Clearance in Abingdon with AbiBinit
- Gardening (Littlemore Church, Radley Church and local residents)
In addition Radley College has established a partnership with Gehandu School in Mbulu, Tanzania, which we have visited annually since 2012. Groups of boys from the 6.1 year fundraise for Gehandu and assist in the teaching of lessons during their stay. This follows two long-running overseas projects, a 6.1 teaching project in Romania and a 6.2 building project in Kerala, South India. As well as being extremely valuable to the boys who go on them they are of genuine and considerable help to the communities with which we are working.
Support for charities is an integral part of the Radley ethos. Whether it involves raising money or giving up time to volunteer, the boys, staff and the Radley College community are deeply involved in a huge range of charitable projects. Fundraising and volunteering take place on a School, Social, Departmental and individual basis.
Most recently, the Radley Community of boys, staff, friends and families have all come together doing great and wonderful things by fundraising, making donations and helping others in their communities during the Covid pandemic. This has been a difficult time for so many, and charities are also finding this period extremely challenging. With the cancellation of many major fund-raising events, charity shop closures, a decline in donations and with many volunteers unable to help, many charities, especially smaller ones, are under huge financial pressures, so all these activities have been particularly appreciated.
In addition, on the first Tuesday of July each year, the entire Fifth Form volunteer for a day, working in many varied local charities including; helping in children’s homes, litter picking, youth charities, community gardening, food banks, charity shops, reading and literacy in schools, helping and playing music for the elderly and vulnerable, conservation charities and animal sanctuaries.
Other recent fundraising and volunteering highlights include: an astonishing 14 marathons in 14 days, an epic 400 mile cycle ride, a number of 6.2 boys and friends walking 18km, C Social Removes who 'Hit-A-Ball' for 12 Hours, E Social Fifths climbing the equivalent of Mount Everest (on their stairs), a successful collaborative art project highlighting mental health, cooking for ‘Food for Heroes’, packing food parcels, making scrubs and protective gear, delivering food to foodbanks, gardening for others, cleaning churches, cleaning beaches, re-roofing, helping the homeless on the streets of London, picking up prescriptions, helping the elderly and volunteering in charity shops.
Although the Sewell Centre Gallery has been temporarily closed, they also have been active supporting an online charity exhibition: 'Art from the Heart', working with Zuleika Gallery to raise money for the Oxfordshire Hospitals.
I hope that we can continue to support so many wonderful charities and communities and, in doing so, help others, create bonds, introduce the boys to the importance of generosity and giving and inspire others to do the same.