ESC Social Responsibility Day
On Friday 01 July, staff members from across the Orbital South Colleges Group comprising East Surrey College, John Ruskin College and Reigate School of Art, took part in the annual Social Responsibility day – a chance to share our time, skills and expertise with local groups and charities.
Staff headed out either individually or in teams into their neighbourhoods and beyond to give their support through a diverse range of volunteering activities – from sorting clothes and toiletries for refugees and homeless people to enhancing a dementia-friendly garden, and sprucing up public spaces and gardens in charity centres to sharing expertise with other educational institutes.
Hear more about who our staff visited and what they got up to below:
Sprucing up Sutton and District Athletics Club
Sutton and District Athletics Club is an inclusive community club run entirely by volunteers which has athletes selected for the Para-Athletics Team England at the Commonwealth Games 2022. The ESC team helped the club prepare for upcoming fixtures by inventorying and cleaning equipment and tidying the facilities. They were also lucky enough to meet Jahisha Thomas, a GB long jump and triple jump athlete, who talked about her career and posed for a photo!
Helping the Homeless
An ESC staff member volunteered at Warming up the Homeless, which runs two charity shops, and an outreach service in Hastings and Eastbourne catering to over a 1,000 people a week. During the day she sorted donations and helped to organise the sorting area. She was so inspired by the charity’s work, she is going to continue volunteering with them in the Weekend Supper Club which serves sit-down hot meals.
Enhancing East Surrey Hospital’s Dementia Garden
Members of the Construction team put their specialist skills to great use enhancing East Surrey Hospital’s dementia friendly open space, Camomile Courtyard. Their tasks for the day included repairing a gazebo as well as fixing and repainting wobbly benches. Hospital staff were delighted with the transformation.
Power Boost at Pathfinder Scout Hut
Two of our Electrical Installation Assessors helped boost the electricity provision at the Pathfinder Scout Hut in Horley. The task included running 100m of cabling inside and out, drilling holes, fixing equipment, clipping cables and making connectors. Their hosts, Lisa and Dan were very welcoming and plied them with tea and chocolate biscuits!
Swansea Food Bank Support
Further afield, one of our lecturers joined the Trussel Trust Volunteers in Swansea for the day. The Trust supports a nationwide network of food banks which together provide emergency food and support to people locked in poverty. His day was spent collecting and delivering over 30 crates of food in his car, and the Trust was very appreciative of the time ESC gave our volunteer to help out.
Staff from three ESC teams joined forces at the YMCA Sovereign Centre in Woodhatch, Reigate, to give two of their public rooms (including a large sports/activities hall) a facelift and spruce up the landscaping.
The Centre provides excellent, purpose-built facilities to cater for their services for children and young people with complex needs and disabilities.
John Brunswick, Disability Service Manager at the Centre, said: “The building gets so much use and to accomplish as much as ESC staff have done in such a short time will enable us to keep our spaces open and run as usual.”
Lightening the load at Loveworks
A group of ESC staff chose to give their support to Loveworks, a Reigate-based foodbank providing meal relief to local residents. At a time when over half a million Surrey residents and Londoners have used a food bank this year, the team felt this was an incredibly important cause.
Ahead of the volunteering day, the team asked ESC staff for donations of tins and other food, so that they could arrive with a contribution for the cause. Once on site, they helped sort food donations and created an inviting space to host visiting local authorities and charities.
Sharing Safeguarding Experiences and Good Practice
One of the ESC team visited Meath Green Junior School to share information and experiences around safeguarding. She said: “It was a great experience and inspiring to share good practice around safeguarding with another educational institute.”
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