For over 50 years, the Loughborough Grammar School Voluntary Service Unit (VSU)has been serving the local community. Boys from Years 11 and 12 give up their Thursday afternoon to volunteer in a range of locations in the local area.
Charity shops in the centre of Loughborough provide our boys with a variety of tasks including sorting clothes and books, pricing goods and even learning how to work the till.
Local care homes allow the boys to develop their interpersonal skills by mixing with residents. They spend their time in conversation discussing current affairs or playing dominoes and board games. A few boys visit local elderly people in their own homes where they do odd jobs or just sit down and have a chat. Some students volunteer for Rainbows Hospice, helping to process the merchandise that raises valuable funds for the charity.
For the October Field Day, the VSU either visit the Leonard Cheshire home in Sileby or go conservation volunteering in Charnwood forest. The link with Leonard Cheshire is an established one and the boys gain valuable experience about life in a care home. The students participate in a variety of tasks, including arts and craft with the residents and baking. At our other Field Day venue, we spend the day clearing invasive rhododendron from the indigenous woodland and trampling bracken. It is a hard day’s work but the environmental progress made during the day is always clear to see.
The VSU also hold some annual events that help the local community. The Christmas food appeal allows us to fill approximately 40 hampers which are then distributed to local people. In the spring term the boys spend their lunchtimes before Easter selling tickets for our annual Easter Egg raffle. This usually raises money for the home in Sileby and allows them to buy something for the residents to enjoy. The summer Field Day is dedicated to treating local senior citizens to a day out. A variety of places have been visited over the years ranging from afternoon tea at National Trust properties, to visiting the National Arboretum and last year we even visited Twycross Zoo. Our guests always enjoy their day out and appreciate spending time getting to know the boys.
The VSU is an invaluable addition to school life at LGS and we hope it will continue to flourish in the coming years.