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Continuing to support the local community

Continuing to support the local community

Central to the school’s mission is to support communities both at home and abroad ‘to make a difference to our own lives, and to the lives of others’.  Over 8,000 hours of community service are given by pupils at Canford each year and throughout the pandemic they have continued to support the school’s links with a number of charities and organisations, as well as forging some new partnerships.  The Friends of Canford School group of parents and staff work with the school to fundraise for many of these local projects and we are very grateful to current chair Tiffany Fleming and her team for all their ongoing support.

Among the most recent projects benefiting from the school’s community work:

Streets Meadow is a residential care home for the over 65s in Wimborne, and includes several dementia care units. The Friends of Canford School gave a donation of £200 to enable the home to start a cooking club and a gardening club which would give residents and their families the chance to get together. Pupils delivered the donation which was gratefully received by the care home staff, and when Canfordians return in September they hope to get involved in these clubs as part of their Monday afternoon Community Action.

Wimborne Food Bank: The school is providing ongoing support for the Food Bank. At the start of the pandemic, our catering team delivered surplus supplies which helped support families in the local area, and is contributing to holiday activity packs. 

Wimborne in Bloom:  A donation by The Friends of Canford School contributed towards 150 new hanging baskets to brighten up the town as it welcomes shoppers and visitors as the Covid-19 restrictions eased.

Wimborne War on Waste: The Friends of Canford School sponsored the recent Wimborne War on Waste film to encourage the use of reusable drinking cups throughout Wimborne to cut down on waste from disposable cups. Can you spot a familiar face in the film? Watch it here: 

High Mead Farm: High Mead Farm is a local supported work environment for adults and older children with disabilities, suffering from mental health issues or recovering from illness.  As a working farm it promotes the benefits of engaging with animals, soil and nature to bring a sense of well-being and self-worth that many have never experienced.  Canford has had links with the farm since it was created and pupils have visited regularly to help with maintenance and organise fundraising.  High Mead Farm Community Shop is the latest venture, launching on 22nd July and is also about to launch an art therapy room and commence regular outdoor junior yoga classes.  A new Ferret enclosure was purchased with the proceeds of a recent Friends of Canford School quiz night. 

Fernhill Dementia Care Home, Beaucroft School and the Sea View Centre: Pupils have been making masks in the past term which were delivered in June for staff to wear. Kate Morris, Companionship Team Leader at Fernhill Dementia Care Home, wrote: “Thank you so much for the lovely masks that were made that we received today, all the staff really appreciated them as you can see from the photograph. We have to wear the clinical face masks whilst at work but it is so nice to have colourful ones when we are off shift.” Naomi from Beaucroft School emailed to say: "Many thanks for our package of handmade masks. Not only are they beautifully made but very well received by our staff. Thank you so much."

Laptop Lifelines for The Bourne Academy: Following an IT upgrade, Drilling Systems, a world-leader in simulation, had a number of spare laptops, all with Windows 10, webcams and microphones to support home learning, and donated them to the Bourne Academy’s students.  The Bournemouth school, fully sponsored by Canford for ten years, were delighted with the donation of the laptops for students’ home learning from Mr Battisby, Head of Simulation at 3t Energy Group, which includes Drilling Systems.  Mr Battisby’s son Scott, a current Canford pupil, spent his free time making sure the laptops were configured ready for use by The Bourne Academy. A great team effort with a positive outcome!

Business Director at The Bourne Academy, Caroline Gobell said: "We are absolutely delighted to be lucky enough to receive these donated laptops from Drilling Systems, who got in touch with us via our sponsors Canford School, and we are extremely grateful to the company for thinking of us.  The laptops will make a massive difference to some of our students who have limited access to remote learning from home during this pandemic. Many families are struggling and these laptop lifelines will take the pressure off family life as a whole, as well as prevent the gap widening between those children with enough resources at home, and those with nothing. This sort of difference is life changing."

The school, which has almost 1,000 students aged 11-18 years old, is sited in one of the UK’s most deprived boroughs and almost 40 per cent of its learners live in poverty.  Many of its students are struggling to access online learning with limited resources, so these laptops will go a long way to help.

Mr Battisby said: "As a global technology company committed to improving human performance, we wanted to help support local families struggling with remote learning during the current pandemic. Hopefully our donation will make life a little easier for some of The Bourne Academy’s students and help them keep pace with their peers."

Other Lockdown Initiatives

During the lockdown, Canford pupils also adapted their usual face to face contact with residential homes, educational support for local primary schools and community projects in creative ways to maintain communications.  These included:

·        as Bingo callers recording draw numbers to allow Care Home and Nursing Home residents to play

·        assisting staff at the Wimborne Model Town writing code for some of their displays

·        groups of musicians have been live streaming concerts to residents in local care homes/day centres

·        recordings reading a poem or story shared with local primary schools and nursing homes

·        recordings giving training / fitness clips shared with the local primary schools and middle schools

·        recordings delivering French / Spanish vocabulary worksheets/word searches for primary schools

·        a new e-newsletter with lots of educational activities for primary school children

·        craft making activity packs made and sent to the City Reach children, along with Christmas and Easter decorations.

·        instructional cooking videos were produced for the City Reach children (plus a cook book) Friends of Canford kindly paid for a new kitchen to be installed.

·        virtual quiz

·        Christmas meal and party bags for City Reach children

·        a Canford book club to produce a range of book reviews, both fiction and non-fiction, plus promotional material in the form of PowerPoint image slides for pupils in local schools as well as for current pupils and staff


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