Giving back to the community at St Margaret’s

Posted: 17th September 2015

At St Margaret’s School in Hertfordshire, we strive not only to be part of the larger community, but also to give back to it. Pupils recently visited the New Hope Community Garden in Watford to learn about homelessness. Year 8 student Dara explains: ‘In order to get to New Hope Community Garden, we walked 4.6 miles from our school in Bushey. This was to help us realise how far some children in different countries have to walk just to get to school or collect water and wood. Before being sent to do different activities in our groups, Ms Roberts led a prayer, then we played a game of snakes and ladders. This version was based on the life of a person who finds it hard to keep a job. When we rolled the dice, if we landed on a ladder we picked up a card that said something positive that might happen to us such as finding a job, but if we landed on a snake we would pick up a card with a negative statement on it, such as getting evicted from a flat. Unfortunately, my team found it very hard to get to the end and kept going straight back down snakes. Our next activity was called Stone Cold. The name of this activity was based on a book about a man who was homeless. We read an extract from the book and then we thought about things we would do to help people who were homeless if we ran a helpline. After lunch, we gathered in a yurt to do some creative writing about our homes and talk about how we would feel if we didn’t have one. Everyone wrote poems in pairs and then read them out to our group. This was a great time to reflect on how people who were homeless feel and think about what we would do if we were in their position. Everyone learnt a lot on our trip as it wasn’t something that we would do ordinarily. It gave us a chance to appreciate how lucky we are to have a home to go to. Also, we realised that we should think about other people instead of just ourselves. At the end of the day, the staff who looked after us answered some of our questions and they said something that has stuck with me since. They told us that instead of calling people who use New Hope services ‘homeless people’, we should say ‘people who are homeless’ and always put the fact that they are people first, because they are the same as us but without a home to go back to every night. Our day ended with a prayer to help us reflect on our experience and be thankful. I really enjoyed this trip and I would love to go again in the future.’

Categories: BSA News