December 20, 2019
Students and staff invited members of the local community to a special festive get-together.
The event was part of the ‘Unity in the Community’ project which involves students giving something back to their local communities as part of the #iwill campaign.
Students and staff have been working hard to plan, promote, design and deliver a range of initiatives which will benefit the community.
These have included a litter pick in Cotmanhay and visits to local care homes, the Christmas get-together was the students’ latest initiative.
Members of the Ilkeston branch of the Royal British Legion came to the event, which was held at OIEA, along with care home residents and people supported by local social inclusion charity p3.
They were treated to a range of entertainment all performed by students, a buffet, bingo and a Christmas quiz.
Teacher Georgie Hill said: “We all just want to give back to people in need or who may be alone at Christmas, so many students want be involved, it’s so inspiring to be around children who want to make a difference.”
Brian Brown, 83, is a member of the Ilkeston branch of the Royal British Legion.
He said: “Miss Hill came along to one of our branch meetings and told us that they were having a bit of a get together at the school. Eight of us came along and we’ve really enjoyed it. I’m very impressed with the students. It’s nice for the school to have a link with the Royal British Legion and I know that some of the students are now affiliated with the branch and have become junior members.”
Paul Scott, RBL secretary, said it was great to see the OIEA students interacting with RBL members.
He said: “I think loneliness is one of the biggest problems among some of our older members. I know that the students here have been into a local care home and they loved it. They sit and talk to the residents who are like a bit of living history. We are definitely trying to get more young people involved.”
A spokesperson for the P3 charity said: “It was an enjoyable evening, it’s great that the school is getting the younger generation involved in giving back to the community and helping to end the mental health stigma.”
The #iwill campaign wants to make participation in social action the norm for young people under 20. To achieve this, the campaign communicates with, connects and challenges organisations across the UK so that they embed support for youth social action into their culture and practice.