Hospice launches pioneering programme for schools

St Elizabeth Hospice has piloted a new initiative to engage with secondary and further education communities and it has already proved extremely popular.

The Hospice Inclusive Volunteering Enterprise (HIVE) will see the local charity working with local secondary and further education communities and five local schools are already on board: Kesgrave High School, Northgate High School, Farlingaye High School, St Alban’s High School and Copleston High School.

HIVE has been designed as a fresh new approach to engage with students to educate them about the hospice and the services it provides, and at the same time they will work with the rest of their school to raise funds for the hospice through their HIVE committees represented by all year groups. In return for their support and fundraising efforts, the hospice offers a structured training/work experience programme for students benefitting both the schools and the hospice.

Daniel Thorrington, partnerships fundraiser at the hospice, is leading on the project. He said: “It’s vitally important for the hospice to engage with the local community, and in particular the next generation of potential volunteers, fundraisers and possible staff.

“By working together through HIVE we aim to develop long and purposeful relationships with young people in our local schools, colleges and communities.

“HIVE will bring value to the individual students taking part, through experiences, relationship building, and a means of recording their progress whilst supporting the services of the hospice.”

HIVE is designed to enable schools to tailor the project to suit the individual needs of the students and departments involved.

Mr Thorrington added: “We launched the pilot last month with five schools across our catchment area, and in September we hope to roll it out to more schools. There were 37 pupils at the pilot launch who were given a burst of flavour of what we do and how they can all play and help make a difference to the lives of people living with a progressive illness.”

Helen Anderson, head of care at Northgate High School, said: “Our pupils are so excited about the prospect of doing something good for the community.  The HIVE project is the perfect place to get young people interested in giving something back, whether it is through fundraising or volunteering.  As a school we are hoping pupils will start to volunteer at a young age and keep going with this through into their adult life.”

Jason Horne, head of pastoral care at St Albans High School, said: “The HIVE project is a fantastic opportunity for St. Alban’s High School to strengthen its relationship with St Elizabeth Hospice. Our students are really excited about planning fundraising events next year, and having the opportunity to volunteer in the numerous departments within the organisation. We feel that this project will enable our students to develop crucial life skills, and help them to improve their self-confidence and experience in a variety of settings.”

Georgina Orrin, head of English at Copleston High School, said: “I believe HIVE has given my year 8 students a real focus for their persuasive writing unit and has also helped them understand a lot more about how a charity works. It has also enabled them to work together in groups towards a real life situation”.

If your school or college would like to find out more about HIVE please call 01473 723600 or email fundraising@stelizabethhospice.org.uk

St Elizabeth Hospice is dedicated to building and maintaining partnerships with schools, businesses, groups and individuals in the local community and relies on their support and generosity to continue to provide vital care and support to more than 2,000 patients and their families every year, free of charge.

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