We encourage all pupils at Gresham’s to be outward looking and to contribute to the community they find themselves in, both local and global. Our community outreach scheme encourages students to share skills in the community while undertaking new responsibilities and developing leadership skills.
Every Friday, afternoon around 100 Senior School pupils participate in a wide range of activities. Pupils can make a positive impact to their local community, the environment, and support charities through fundraising events. For some, this is an opportunity to complete the Community Action and Service (CAS) aspect of the International Baccalaureate.
Here are some of our projects that our pupils are currently involved with:
As part of our community outreach programme, pupils have the opportunity to get involved in a range of projects in the community. Projects include weekly Zoom calls with care home residents, volunteering in Holt at the Youth Project, the charity shops and the Treehouse Community Café. Our pupils support the work at the Camphill community at Thornage Hall and local primary schools. Due to the pandemic students have been resourceful in creating new opportunities online, for example creating a Modern Foreign Languages Journal to be shared in the community.
There are numerous projects both in the school grounds and in the community. Our environment group carry out wildlife surveys and help to maintain habitats in the school woods. A group of pupils often volunteer at the Holt Lowes clearing bracken in order to preserve this special habitat.
‘Team Eco’ are a group of pupils who are championing environmental change around the School. They have recently helped Gresham’s to become a Green Flag Award Eco-School. The initiative is designed to take two years, meaning the pupils did incredibly well to achieve this within seven months. 100% of the School’s electricity now comes from solar power or renewable sources. A wildlife pond has also been introduced with 15 species being recorded in the pond and over 35 species of bird. The School has also joined the ‘Holt Cup’ scheme, a new initiative championed by a variety of businesses within the town. This will help to encourage the use of reusable cups for hot beverages in the School café.
Gresham’s was set up as a charity and as such takes its responsibilities seriously, ensuring that it has a community focus to many of the events and activities that take place at the school.
The school supports a number of charities at the local, national and international level through both fundraising and volunteering opportunities. We seek to build links between the pupils and the communities they are part, to understand the challenges charities and NGOs face, whilst also providing opportunities for leadership and collaboration. Whole school charity events take place throughout the year with students selecting a different charity, usually one that works with children, to support and organise fundraising events. In addition we have a longstanding connection with Olpalagilagi School in Kenya and Amnesty International.
Charitable events are coordinated by the Senior School Charity Committee, which has in turn been supported by the Charity Co-ordinator, our Chaplain, Jack Branford. The emphasis has been on supporting small local charities to ensure that the Gresham’s community can see the impact of its fundraising.
For the academic year 2021/22, Gresham’s are supporting the Holt Youth Project, a local charity which aims to provide a safe environment for young people to meet and socialise with the minimum of supervision, building their social communication skills and promoting ownership.
In 2020/21, the school supported The Treehouse Café, a charity based in Holt which was opened last year by Lorna and Rachel and has a community fridge, zero waste café and outdoor area with a vegetable garden. It also runs workshops such as children’s yoga and music groups. This community centre is vital to the area as it provides a friendly and welcoming environment that aims to support people affected by poverty and deprivation in Holt. This effort particularly helps anyone who needs it from new mums, to vulnerable elderly people and children with speech difficulties. Gresham’s successfully raised in excess of £19,182 last year which will go towards building a low-level treehouse with disabled access and a sensory garden.
The following is a list of some of the charitable events that we have run in the last two years:
- A wood fired pizza night for the Senior School boarders.
- Serving hot food to the homeless community in Norwich city centre.
- House music.
- The Christmas singles.
- The Christmas Tree Festival.
- The January Daily Dash.
- The Gresham’s virtual half marathon.
- The mad May collaborative triathlon and half iron man event.
- The Gritty Grasshopper 2021.
- The Prep School 5 a-side football tournament.
The school charity changes each year and donations can be made via the following JustGiving link: https://www.justgiving.com/greshamssch.