William of Wykeham’s focus on service pervades the school’s long history. Through our community relationships, pupils learn the value of service to others and broaden their life skills to bring tangible benefits to the wider community.
The Community Service programme partners with 40 external organisations in the City of Winchester and Southern Hampshire, and involves more than 300 pupils and 50 dons. 18,000 hours of voluntary work are provided on an annual basis.
Alongside volunteering for Winchester Cathedral, the City Museum and various charity shops, the school has sustained partnerships across the region including:
- Pupils support local people with a range of disabilities. Blue Apple Theatre is a professional theatre company working with performers with learning difficulties to develop and present theatrical productions. Pupils assist at rehearsals, work backstage, and help actors to learn lines. On a weekly basis, pupils assist disabled swimmers at the River Park Leisure Centre.
- Following an intensive induction and training programme to work on the dementia, surgical and medical wards at the Royal Hampshire Country Hospital, pupils deliver meals to the patients’ bedsides and help with feeding for those who require assistance. Two school music groups, CS Jazz and CS Entertainers, give regular concerts on the wards.
- Pupils undertake weekly visits to nine local nursing homes where they develop inter-generational friendships whilst participating in a diverse range of activities. The CS Entertainers provide an eclectic range of songs, sketches and individual solo performances at the nursing homes. Additionally, the CS Music and Dementia group visit Sunrise Nursing Home, playing string and wind instruments for residents.
- Working with the homeless, pupils volunteer regularly at Trinity Winchester, a day centre for homeless people, and provide domestic assistance every evening at the Winchester Churches Night Shelter kitchen.
- Conservation work attracts many volunteers to the programme. Pupils are working alongside Butterfly Conservation to develop an outdoor wildlife exhibit at Winchester Science Centre that educates visitors about the local ecosystem.
- Pupils volunteer weekly at a number of sites including Barton Meadows, a new Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust site, creating a natural meadow, clearing scrub, laying fence posts and planting native tree species. They are also undertaking habitat restoration at Clausentum Fen, a designated wildlife area managed by the Hampshire County Council Countryside Service.