COMMUNITY (VOLUNTARY) SERVICE 2021-2022
BWS provides opportunities for sixth form students to do voluntary work at various establishments around Salisbury. The majority of these might have charitable status, such as ‘Talking Newspapers for the Blind’, but our biggest placement is the Salisbury General hospital where our students have won the coveted ‘Volunteer of the Year’ at least three times in the last few years – not bad when you consider there are over 4000 volunteers there.
Volunteering, apart from helping contribute to our local society, makes a CV stand out. In some professions, such as medicine, a voluntary placement is pretty much essential. Sixth formers have to give an undertaking to volunteer for a couple of hours a week for a minimum of one term, though many volunteers do two or more terms. We have libraries, schools, museums and guiding in the Cathedral as an example of placements but students are welcome to organise their own which some do in charity shops or maybe their local GP’s surgery.
This next year will be a bit different as few voluntary placements have been allowed throughout the pandemic. The hospital will be taking only students over the age of 18 in September, so the Autumn term will be only for a few students. It is hoped that the year 12s will be able to volunteer after the New Year. To keep it fair for the year 13s, who have missed out on volunteering opportunities, I will give them preference in all voluntary positions for the first term so they can at least say they have had the opportunity to volunteer.
J G Browning (Community Service co-ordinator)