The 2020/21 school year has already seen monumental changes in the way Shrewsbury approaches working with its Charity, NGO and corporate partners. These changes were inspired by a desire to deepen the connections, work together to encourage student leadership, build entrepreneurial spirit and model important ‘soft-skills’ and character strengths. Whilst the significant financial contributions to charity partners have made a huge impact over the years, the school also understood the need to pivot away from a fundraising cycle and donation. A move towards a collection of vibrant and live partnerships where mutual benefit is measurable and explicit is now in motion. This is part of our social responsibility and the source of much valuable learning for our students, staff and parents.
The first and most evident change is an amalgamation of all these activities under one banner - Shrewsbury Outreach. With long-serving Sixth Form specialist, Entrepreneurship, Business and Economics teacher, Mr Greg Threlfall at the helm, the team have already made considerable gains in formalising how these relationships operate at Shrewsbury, Riverside. The Outreach team now has the remit to manage all activities across the whole school that relate to Community Engagement, Sustainability, Entrepreneurship Education, Partnerships and Global Citizenship Education.
There have been many instances of community engagement from the team, here are just eight great ways Shrewsbury are reaching out to its community:
- As the founding school of the Equity Partnership, Shrewsbury again took part in season two; developing an entrepreneurial mindset in our students while imparting valuable knowledge and working collaboratively with students from rural Thai schools.
- Involvement with ‘The Hub’. Shrewsbury Year 12s gained valuable knowledge by taking part in a night walk, and our You Time students are sharing their expertise and leading activities that benefit street kids in Bangkok. These sessions focus on giving young people at the Hub skills for gaining employment and improving wellbeing.
- Donation to CWEFT of 20,000 THB between Shrewsbury and Shrewsbury Alumnus Sam Simcox.
- Visit Sa Keao school; which strengthened ties with provincial schools. After exploring how we can support them, 102,000 THB was raised by the Christmas staff raffle to go towards on-site accommodation for teachers.
- A Food Drive; collecting 30 crates from members of our community. Led by House Captains, this energised our relationship with Thai SOS.
- Christmas Wish donations to Mercy Centre, Sister Louise, The Hub, Thai-Muslim School, Operation Smile and A4D. The Outreach Team hand-delivered gifts to increase contact with charities.
- Habitat for Humanity Team made a considerable effort to paint a new house for an elderly man in Suphanburi, giving him a bright new renovated home to live in.
- Organised Shrewsbury students to participate in ‘Ride for Hunger’ for Thai SOS, which raised much-needed funds just before the COVID-19 outbreak in December.
Head of Outreach, Mr Greg Threlfall says he is proud of the effort put in by the Outreach Team in its first term.
“Unifying all areas of community engagement and networking this with academic and co-curricular enrichment has been a priority for Shrewsbury. To get Outreach off the ground and start making inroads has been rewarding. Community engagement should not just be about handing out cheques. It needs to be a sharing of ideas, skills and knowledge, and a sharing of resources. We will continue to work hard in the community, ensuring Shrewsbury is a school that works collectively to make the wider community a better place,” he said.