The school is keen to encourage students to involve themselves with its Voluntary Service programme, reinforcing the message that service to others is also of benefit to those who serve. Many students give their free time to help others, both within the school community and beyond. Some students provide assistance for staff and younger children in the Nursery School and the Junior Department. Others help to maintain the Peace Garden, sort and distribute items for the Mother Teresa charity, help with the HCPT pilgrimage to Lourdes, help younger students through a St. Vincent de Paul group or coach sport to other students. Voluntary service also takes place outside the school whenever possible. For example, each week a group of Sixth Form students visits Syston Community Centre to help local adults with learning difficulties.
Mother Teresa Group
Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said, “We are asked to do no great thing, only small things done with great love. Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person”.
She couldn’t possibly change the lives of all the poor in India, but she knew she could make a difference to some and through her hard work in small steps she made a huge difference.
At Ratcliffe we have our own Mother Teresa group. This is a group of Sixth Form students who collect unwanted clothes and old school uniform. We meet for tea, a chat and prayer whilst sorting and folding the donated clothes. The clothes are then donated to local charities for them to sell to raise funds to support the charity’s work. The old school uniform is sent to Tilinanu Orphanage in Malawi.
St Vincent De Paul Youth Group
Students are required to go on a specified day each week to either the junior school or the nursery school. Whilst there, they help the teacher in the lesson by reading to small groups of children, or hearing the students read to them. They also help out with any other subject material that the teacher directs them to do, and may take small groups to one side to help in a specific subject. Those students who help after school will be helping with activities and again, under teacher supervision and direction will be involved in helping in those activities as required. Some of the students are helping out in outside activities after-school in particular, in sport. The emphasis of the group is on self-determination, independence and sacrificing time and skills for the benefit of others.
We also take part in fundraising activities throughout the year, once each term and last year we raised £800 which was donated to the Tillinanu Orphanage in Malawi. This sponsorship of girls for a year in the orphanage has been going on for the past six years and started off with two girls being sponsored each year and has now risen to 4. It costs £200 a year for each orphan which includes clothing food educational resources and schooling as well as boarding.