Community Service Programme
Many boys have been heavily involved with the School's commitment to community work, whether that be the School or wider community. Junior Sixth Form boys and selected Fourth Form boys have been reliable and conscientious mentors to the younger boys at CLS, helping them develop into independent and confident learners in the subjects in which the younger mentees feel they need some extra support. Other Fourth Form boys have given generously of their time and effort in projects local to them: tennis and cricket after-school groups, volunteering at local libraries and charity shops, helping out at local places of worship and social centres or teaching new musical or linguistic skills to individuals in their communities.
This year, the CSO programme has 60 Junior Sixth and 80 Fourth Form boys following a very similar programme, but with the exciting addition of fostering links with significant social action groups and community centres local to the School. We are working with WE Schools in tandem with Save the Children to identify and plan social actions that will raise awareness of issues central to the pupils' experiences. In a similar vein, the boys are also working with Transport for London to help make the pupil body's journey to and from School a safer and more enjoyable experience. Finally the School will continue its fruitful partnership with the Salmon Centre in Bermondsey helping the centre run its excellent co-curricular programme of sports and music. Furthermore some boys have opted in to the academic and pastoral mentoring programme and will receive extensive training on these issues.
It is a very exciting time for all involved. CLS pupils have an opportunity to not only give back to and help their local community but also receive, in return, social and physical health benefits for themselves that will stand them in good stead for their life after CLS.
Fourth Former William talks about his experience doing CSO
For a fourth former who isn’t doing CCF, pledging sixty hours of time to help a good cause is a terrific opportunity where we can develop key qualities such as leadership and teamwork whilst simultaneously benefiting our local community or a charity. There were four main strands of CSO this year, these included working in a youth centre, helping promote awareness of and trying to change a problem on transport in London, mentoring younger boys and helping raise money and awareness for the WE charity. Each of the strands operate differently, most having weekly meetings to discuss and plan upcoming events such as sales or assemblies.
My CSO experience has been a terrific one, I immediately decided to help the WE charity as I felt it was a good cause that focused on more than just one issue and can address many across the world. Its main aim was to battle poverty with five main pillars to try and fight it, providing children with health, food, water, opportunity and education. We were so passionate about this cause that we finished the 60 hours in just three and a half months, rather than the expected two years. We decided to raise money and awareness for this charity through cake sales. The thing I most enjoy about CSO is the community spirit of it, we would all meet up at each other’s houses to make cakes together and then as a group we would go out and sell them. I really bonded with some of the boys in my group, united by our love for this charity I felt that was really special. CSO has improved my character as a person, not just with my managing skills, taking charge of the team, but it has increased my confidence, as before would have been too shy to speak to random strangers in the street, however with by determination to spread news of this charity, I pushed out of my comfort zone and really enjoyed myself.
CLS pupils have an opportunity to not only give back to and help their local community but also receive, in return, social and physical health benefits for themselves.