Alongside the academic and pastoral pillars of Taunton School, Community is one of the key values at Taunton School. There has been a long tradition of our students freely giving up their time to serve and help others. Many pupils over the years have been spotted at the Oxfam Shop in town, supporting the disabled athletes at wheelchair basketball at Taunton Vale on a Monday evening or helping the younger Prep School students with their prep.
Chemistry teacher Dr Alison Franklin spoke at the Head’s Assembly last year about the volunteering she has undertaken with England Hockey. It was clear that she has become so well respected and regarded that she has been privileged to undertake some amazing opportunities like working at the Commonwealth games. As Gordon B Hinckley, author of ‘Standing for Something’ states: “One of the great ironies of life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served.”
Historically, volunteering has always been driven by the IB students as part of their CAS course requirements; but what has been so inspiring is the number of other pupils who enthusiastically give up their time to serve the local community. At present we have 15 Asian students supporting English pupils who are studying GCSE Mandarin at Castle School. The Firs nursing home in Staplegrove has also benefitted from a group of students who go over to chat with and play board games with their elderly residents. On a Friday afternoon a minibus group of students has been clearing up leaves at Wivey Lido. Places like Wivey pool are totally reliant on volunteers to give up their time to enable this old pool to exist for future generations.
It is widely accepted that volunteering can bring numerous benefits; it can open up career opportunities as you gain new skills, it can provide valuable experience which enhances your CV but most importantly to me it can bring a great sense of personal achievement and self-worth by contributing to the community. As Winston Churchill quotes: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
If anybody has any links in the wider community who are seeking a group of willing volunteers then please do get in touch. There are many students keen to offer their time.
Director of Student Progress