Groups both large and small, accompanied by staff members, cleared paths, ran workshops, attended care centres and much more, totalling over 2,000 hours of help.
Work began at Preston Park in Brighton at 10 am, where boys and girls were given gloves, trowels and bags for clearing weeds. With work beginning beside St John’s Bowling Green, Josie Ford of Year 9 (Shell) said, "I want to give something back to the community. After this I’m sure my mum will be asking me to do more gardening at home."
At the Hollyrood Day Centre, for adults with complex forms of autism, more green fingers were at work, literally. Whilst one group cleared the garden’s shrubbery, another spent time repainting a green fence, not without a little messiness of course.
Meanwhile at Age Concern in Hassocks, pupils spent quality time talking, playing games and preparing dinner tables with the elderly. As Hurst's helpers were at work, Jill Marsh, Manager of the centre said, "It’s lovely to have the students here interacting with the elderly. On the part of everybody here I can say that it has been a very enjoyable day."
Some of the most physically strenuous work was carried out at Tilgate Park near Crawley. With professional guidance, the group were tasked with chopping away and burning an extensive area of overgrown rhododendrons.
Charity comes in many forms in the 21st century but little equals the direct impact made by volunteering. Closer to the College, in Hurstpierpoint village, more students gave their time and effort by taking part in a sponsored walk, charity shop work and decorating the children's play area.
The day of activities is organised by Hurst's Chaplain, Fr Jeremy Sykes, who enthused, "It’s a chance for the children to learn that charity goes beyond giving money, to the giving of oneself and doing something humble but valued. It’s always a day like no other.”
Hurst's commitment to charity has helped to fundraise over £15,000 during this academic year, which goes to a number of selected charities.
Picture gallery to follow.
21 May 2013