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Community Day in June will benefit students and organisations throughout Lewisham

By Eleanor Suh, Student Journalist

Students will do either half-day or full day shifts and a range of placements are available


The inaugural Colfes-Brun Bear Foundation Community Day on Friday 30 June will see more than 50 Year 12 students, aged 16-17, serving meals to senior citizens, sprucing up local amenities with a lick of paint, cleaning up local spaces, planting, watering and weeding community gardens, volunteering in local libraries, schools, food banks and charity shops and so much more.


The initiative is the brainchild of the director of school partnerships at the co-educational private day school in Lee, in the London Borough of Lewisham, Ms Zoe Kendrick and Lewisham-based registered charity, The Brun Bear Foundation. The charity’s guiding ethos is to harness the power of community to create better futures locally, globally and in the animal kingdom.


Rushey Green Primary School in Catford is one of the community day partner organisations.


Headteacher Lisa Williams believes that seeing the student volunteers will inspire Rushey Green pupils who are drawn from all social economic backgrounds. “If the children see their school as an integral part of the community they too will want to [follow the example of the Year 12 Colfes students] and give something back,” says Ms Williams.

Rushey Green Head Teacher Lisa Williams: The Colfes-Brun Bear Foundation Community Day will inspire pupils at the school as well as the volunteers themselves


Volunteers at Rushey Green will be kept busy painting an outdoor playhouse and gardening. The school is particularly enthusiastic about creating outdoor learning spaces where children can learn about growing food, sustainability and the environment.


Another partner organisation is Hummingbird Senior Citizens Club at St Laurence Centre also in Catford. Parish manager Richard Swann says the centre is a social hub, where multiple groups meet throughout the week, including clubs for the elderly, toddlers, parents, disabled people and refugees. An allocation of students will find gainful employment here.


Hummingbird Senior Citizens Club is “South East London’s premium Afro-Caribbean lunch club for the over-55s,” says Mr Swann. Each week sees 80-110 members coming together for a lively afternoon of refreshments, dominoes, dance classes, entertainment, music and lunch.


Volunteers at Hummingbird can expect to serve food, help with general tasks and engage with members. Mr Swann believes the community day will impress upon the volunteers the tremendous impact they as young people can has as volunteers.


“It’s important for students to feel like they’re part of a community, to bring a sense of togetherness and connection with the people and places on our doorsteps and to counter the isolating effects of an increasing online world” says Colfes student Daniel Li-Yim (17)

Colfe’s students are also looking forward to the community day. Daniel Li-Yim (17) is especially looking forward to engaging with “people you wouldn’t normally meet” and sees the community day as a unique opportunity to volunteer locally at places you didn’t know existed.


He feels strongly that it’s important for students to feel like they’re part of a community, to bring a sense of togetherness and connection with the people and places on our doorsteps and to counter the isolating effects of an increasing online world.

Colfes student Daniel Li-Yim (17): Looking forward to connecting with new people in local settings


Commenting on the upcoming Community Day, Edwin Lampert, founder of Lewisham-based charity The Brun Bear Foundation says the day will see the students volunteer between four and eight hours on a project of communal value. “So far we have secured some fantastic opportunities for students however we need to secure more!


“So far we have secured some fantastic opportunities for students however we need to secure more!”

“We would like to invite readers to consider whether they could directly assist us or refer us to relevant organisations.”


Examples of suitable projects include volunteering at a local food bank or soup kitchen to help prepare and serve meals to those in need; participating in a local park cleanup to help keep the environment clean and safe for everyone; spending time at a nursing home or retirement community; assisting at a local animal shelter; helping with a community garden; spending time at a community centre or volunteering at a local hospital or medical centre.


For more information please contact Edwin at team@brunbearfoundation.com


For more information on The Brun Bear Foundation please visit www.brunbearfoundation.com


For more information on Colfes please see www.colfes.com

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