Volunteering at Winton House

Volunteering-at-Winton-House

By Julia Bevan, Teacher of English

On Wednesday afternoon, a quartet of Bedalians made their way into Petersfield to take part in a new initiative: volunteering at the Pop-in Café at Winton House Centre. Winton House is an independent registered charity – staffed mostly by volunteers – which maintains the Grade II-listed building of the same name, supports other local charities and voluntary organisations, and provides services and facilities to help the local community.

Miranda Robertson, Bella Cutts, Jack Brooksbank and Archie Tier arrived promptly, donning stripy aprons and thoroughly washing their hands, ready to begin. All had passed food hygiene courses before setting foot in Winton House, so were well-versed in the basics, such as removing dangly earrings and watches before getting to work in the kitchen.

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Volunteering in the community

By Al McConville, Director of Learning and Innovation

We’re working hard at Bedales to give students more opportunities to volunteer for good causes, since we know how satisfying that proves to be for many people.

We have kicked off the year with a new scheme for Block 3 to undertake ‘service’ activities within the community to get them in the mood, working with the kitchens, the library and the gardeners to keep the place ticking, and to give them a sense of responsibility for their surroundings.

In addition, a whole host of sixth formers are heading down the road to Steep Primary School to help younger children with their learning, and a separate group have embarked on a project with the Fitzroy charity for adults with learning difficulties at their base in the Sustainability Centre. This week we got cracking on a pond, and painted the inside of their composting toilet!

Lots more opportunities in the pipeline – watch this space.

Rural Refugee Network Art Sale

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Home from Home is a solo exhibition of British painter Alex Rennie’s work at The Frestonian Gallery in London inspired by and in aid of Bedales-supported charity the Rural Refugee Network.

The exhibition explores the theme of a British welcome in relation to the Syrian migrant crisis. A percentage of sales proceeds will be donated to both the Rural Refugee Network and it’s partner charity Children on the Edge. The charities rehouse Syrian refugees in the UK as well as educating displaced Syrian refugee children residing in the Lebanese refugee camps.

Rather than portray explicit scenes of refugee life, Rennie has taken an alternative visual approach. The artist held a number of interviews and workshops with Syrian refugees and children that have been resettled in the UK by the Rural Refugee Network. The resulting artworks are informed by these testimonies as well as discussions with volunteers from the Rural Refugee Network about the successes they have had and the challenges they face.

Among the imagery featured are teacups, sandcastles, flowers and flags. Visual references that are quintessentially British, but also have universal appeal. The paintings were created to reflect the notion of empowerment: that of the refugees themselves, but also empowering the public to take action and to play a part in tackling the worst humanitarian crisis of our generation.

The exhibition runs for two days only, 24 and 25 September 2019 at the Frestonian Gallery in Notting Hill West London.

Please contact Dunhurst parent Julia Thistleton-Smith on julia@waughthistleton.com for further details.