YMCA St Paul’s Group has hooked up with sixth formers from Southborough High School this week as part of the school’s Charity Champions initiative. The initiative was the brain child of head of sixth form David Sanders, who wanted to highlight the work of local charities and the support that his sixth formers could give.
We were invited along to give a presentation to the boys at the beginning of the week, setting out our task for the students to film users of YMCA Hawker, and residents at YMCA Surbiton hostel. We were assigned our team of 10 students, along with a teacher to offer a guiding hand and developed our task further to look at the issues and stigma around homelessness.
Light hearted as it was at YMCA Hawker, filming families who were using The Pod and people who had just finished dance classes, the students were keenly aware of why we offer these activities to local people – so that we can support vulnerable people in our hostels. They had a tour of Surbiton Hostel and interviewed three residents, Damian, Daiva and Anthony to talk about how the hostel has supported them as they got back on their feet.
They produced a very professional documentary about the issues along with a presentation for the culmination of Charity Champions week on Friday 15 July at The Stoop in Twickenham, in front of a panel of judges. Our student team won the Best Team Spirit award, and we are enormously proud of them.