Epsom College was founded in 1855, borne of one man’s desire to improve the lives of those who had fallen on hard times. Dr John Propert pursued this goal tirelessly, providing the orphans of impoverished medical families with free housing, clothing and schooling.
The Victorian values of benevolence and excellence that guided Dr Propert’s work, and upon which the College was founded, have found their modern-day expression in Epsom’s Service programme.
Now in its fifth year, the Service programme has seen over 260 Sixth Form students volunteer more than 10,000 hours to local community projects.
Integral to the timetable.
The programme is organised by the College’s Services Coordinator, who weaves weekly one-hour placements seamlessly into each pupil’s timetable.
Epsom wants its pupils to understand the value of providing service to the community and the positive difference it can make to people’s lives. This is why Service at Epsom is an integral part of the timetable, rather than an activity bolted on to the main business of the College.
Helping local projects.
The programme offers work with local primary schools, providing classroom assistance, reading with pupils, supporting lunchtime play, one-to-one mentoring, and providing support for school clubs and Sure Start nurseries.
Other activities include working with disabled groups at The Sunnybank Trust, Surrey Wheels for All, assisting the elderly with gardening through Banstead Horticultural Society as well as the Epsom & Ewell branch of Age Concern befriending service and offering help at the local Food Bank.
Help is also given to a support group of elderly persons suffering from Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
Often, our pupils support one-off initiatives such as planting crocuses for Purple4Polio (Rotary Club Banstead), clearing and making paths accessible for wheelchair users ( The Woodland Trust), bag packing at Waitrose (fundraising for Age Concern) and gift-wrapping during Christmas (for The Sunnybank Trust).
Pupils undergo training to deliver language lessons in 11 different languages as well as acquiring ICT and programming skills to assist the young and old (helping create a logo and website for The Banstead Horticultural Society).
The Nurture Project.
A highlight has been our involvement in the Nurture Project. This innovative pilot scheme, overseen by Surrey County Council, is designed to help infant school pupils reach a higher level of achievement. Epsom pupils have assisted individuals and groups with language development; worked on numeracy by playing board games; supported reading, science and craft activities; and developed children’s social skills through play.
“The Nurture Project has had a real impact on our pupils, giving them the confidence to deal with new situations. Epsom’s pupils related to our children very well, and delivered the activities as if they were qualified teachers. They were very enthusiastic and professional and made the learning fun.”
Lucy Warren, St Martin’s Infant school.
For more information about our Service Programme, please contact Roshie Watkins, Service Coordinator by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 01372 821069.