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Life Skills Students Volunteer in the Community

Life Skills Students Volunteer in the Community

Date: 07 December 2021

Our Life Skills – SEND Entry 1 students have been out and about in the local community, giving back through a range of exciting voluntary projects! Each week, the students have been volunteering with a local charity, the Merstham Community Facility Trust. The Trust is based at the Merstham Hub, and the students have loved getting involved!


Akhil, Eliza, Lucia and Stephen have been busy collecting food donations for two local food banks: ‘Loveworks’ at Merstham Community Hub and ‘Open Hands' at Reigate Baptist Church. These collections will provide vital support for people in the local area and as part of their work experience, the students have been helping to deliver the food donations!

John Bartlett, Chair of Open Hands Charity Food Bank, recently collected the donations from our students and commented: 

"Thank you very much for the wonderful gifts of food from the Life Skills group at the College. We appreciate the generosity and help."

student at foodbank students at foodbank students at foodbank together


Community Fridge

The Merstham Community Facility is also home to the ‘Community Fridge’ which aims to reduce waste by collecting food that would otherwise have been thrown out and is instead redistributed amongst members of the community. Our students get involved by collecting and sorting donations from the local Co-Op and recording how much food has been saved from landfill!

Life Skills Students at East Surrey College sort food for the Community Fridge food bank with student


Allotment Project

Our students have also been spending time outside at the Merstham Community Allotments, which is home to the charity’s fruit and vegetables, all being grown in aid of the community. The produce is then donated to the Merstham Mix Café and Community Fridge. The Entry 1 group get involved with all sorts of green-fingered jobs, including watering plants, weeding, composting and planting bulbs. As part of this volunteering, the students are also picking up key skills such as following instructions and working as a team.

students with plant pot

Litter picking

Donning their litter pickers and gloves, our students also headed down to the Merstham Hub to clear away any litter, as part of one of their volunteering sessions. They also uncovered many discarded objects, including nine shoes!

East Surrey College Life Skills Students Litter Picking

Each week, our students summarise their volunteering projects and update their class board and work diaries using PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) and share the exciting work they’ve been up to. Well done to our Entry 1 group!

Life Skills Entry 1 at East Surrey College

Applications are open for our Supported Learning courses starting in September 2022, find out more here.

Address: East Surrey College, Gatton Point, London Road, Redhill, Surrey RH1 2JX

Main Switchboard: 01737 772611 / Client Services: 01737 788444 / Email:

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