Volunteering Day

‘Giving back’ is an integral strand of the Downe House ethos and the annual Volunteering Day gives Upper Fourth girls the opportunity to get out and about in our wider community to help out in schools, charities, conservation projects and churches as well as counting towards the Volunteer section of their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award.

3 July 2019

Helping out at the Newbury RDA stables, working at the Growing2Gether gardening project at Cottismore, visiting the elderly at Winchcombe Care Home, doing admin work at St Nicolas’ Church, volunteering at Swings and Smiles in Thatcham, working alongside the wardens at Snelsmore Common, busking in Northcroft Street and helping at the Compton Primary School Sports Day were amongst this year’s projects.

One of the projects was Thirtover Place which is the Berkshire Girl Guiding Residential and Activity Centre, the girls split into three teams and alternated the tasks of power washing all the pathways, painting the side of the shop and rubbing down the paintwork on the lodge. They also lifted all the groundsheets in the tented village to allow the ground to dry out and litter picked the site. The Thirtover Warden was so thrilled with their hard work that he gave them archery lessons in the afternoon as a treat!

Upper Fourth girl, Louisa reports on her volunteering experience at Snelsmore Common,

“When we arrived at Snelsmore, we were introduced to two of the seasonal wardens who take care of the heathland site. They explained to us why it is so important that these habitats are protected. By the end of the day, we all felt very fulfilled knowing that we had helped to preserve this precious area of heathland. We helped to build ‘dead hedging’ to protect sensitive conservation areas, we cleaned the storage compound and we raked up old hay from the pony feeding area to ensure that the ponies could go and feed on their own. It was an incredibly fascinating and eye-opening day and we all felt very proud to have helped the local community.”

Volunteering Day Organiser, Mrs Jan Stowell said, “The girls all had a fantastic day volunteering in all sorts of community projects across the Newbury area. I would like to say thank you to all of the people who made the day possible from the organisations who hosted our girls to the teachers who accompanied them. I know that the girls will have gained a great deal from their day and that it will have opened their eyes to all the good work that is done by volunteers in our community.”

Find out more about how Downe House girls support charities

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