The role of Community Service at Abingdon

Many Abingdon students arrive each morning from fairly distant villages and some of our boarders come from far-flung countries, so to them Abingdon is just a town, where their school is situated. It’s important that they get to meet people, who live in the town, so Abingdon School does not seem just an isolated world in its own bubble. Our students have the opportunity to visit the local hospital, residential homes, primary schools and charity shops. Not only can they take pride in helping the local community, they also learn about residents’ lives and British culture.

Two students, Archie Williams and Jeffrey Leung, who have been participating in the Community Service programme for years, describe their experiences.

Jeffrey Leung (Upper Sixth):

As part of my community service, I spend time visiting residential homes, the local hospital and the Older and Bolder exercise group, where I serve tea and run a quiz. The overwhelming proudness I have comes from getting to know many residents of care homes. This is a rare opportunity and is a complete contrast to life at school. It is very rewarding just seeing the elderly appreciating my presence. Not only have I gained mental fulfilment, I was also able to complete an EPQ investigation on the issue of dementia, which was very informative and will help me when I go to university to study Medicine.

Archie Williams (Upper Sixth):

Without wishing to sound obsequious, community service is something I find tremendously rewarding. I have been doing it since 4th year, and have derived enjoyment out of meeting and engaging with the people at Old Station House to an extent that has surprised myself. I have met many remarkable people with fascinating stories to tell. One thing I have started recently is playing cribbage with Norman at Old Station House, after he told me no one else there knew how to play. Though he did utterly destroy me the first time we played, I have improved and the playing field is now more even. I think he enjoys it - I certainly do.