Nineteen of Shrewsbury’s Year 12s had the fantastic opportunity to take a night walk with members of The Hub - a community organisation that offers support, counselling and outreach to the youth living on Bangkok’s streets. The evening was an opportunity to discover how Shrewsbury could assist The Hub to continue providing the essential services needed to help some of the most at-risk citizens in our community.
Organised by Shrewsbury’s Head of Outreach, Mr Greg Threlfall, students began the evening with an information session run by the Hub’s communication team. From there, they shared dinner with the youths who regularly visit The Hub’s headquarters in Sampheng, Bangkok, and chatted with them to find out about their lives, their interests and what they wanted to do in the future.
The conclusion of dinner saw the start of the ‘night walk’. Many students were visibly apprehensive as the area in which the Hub is based can, at times, be dangerous. Just five minutes from Hua Lumpong Railway Station, it is commonplace to see people sleeping rough on the streets, drinking alcohol, using drugs and panhandling. However, the students and accompanying teachers were expertly led by members of The Hub who answered questions, gave informative tips and patiently waited for the Year 12s to take it all in.
“The idea is that the students will come away from this with some ideas of how they can help The Hub continue its life-changing and often life-saving work” Mr Threlfall offered.
“We also want our students to see what real service looks like and that giving their time and sharing their knowledge and skills is often more effective than simply donating money.”
Once the walk was complete, students and their hosts discussed what they had seen and how they felt about the eye-opening evening. One student, Anika, expressed sadness at witnessing underage girls soliciting on street corners.
“I think one girl I saw was the same age as me, so that was quite confronting. We are going to head back to school and try to come up with ways we can help because this is really important,” she said.
The next phase of the relationship with The Hub is to start an ongoing partnership that identifies young people with specific needs and Shrewsbury students with the appropriate skills. An example of this cooperation could be expressed in the teaching of English or collaboration in performing or creative arts. Whatever the students decide, we are sure to see some occasions that will serve to benefit both The Hub and Shrewsbury International School.