Community Outreach: working with the SABRE Charitable Trust
Every summer, a number of Reach Cambridge students sign up to take part in our Community Outreach program. This is a great chance to learn valuable skills in teamwork and project management through charitable work. Every summer we are amazed by the Community Outreach students: their dedication and hard work encourages all of the students at our summer schools to get involved, and each year the fundraising total surpasses the year before. In 2014, we raised almost £5000 for our chosen charity!
Reach Cambridge is proud of its excellent links with UK based charities, and over the past few years we have been supporting the SABRE Charitable Trust. The SABRE Trust is an education charity working in rural Ghana, to build brighter futures for school children by providing new schools and training teachers.
As part of our evening lecture series during the summer programs, a representative from SABRE delivers a talk to Reach Cambridge students, introducing them to the important work that the charity does. This often sparks discussions in the first few Community Outreach sessions, as students explore the differences between life as a young schoolchild in rural Ghana, and their own early years of education. The students use these reflections as motivation to think of ways to achieve their goals: raising awareness of the issues facing young schoolchildren in rural Ghana, and raising money for SABRE. Through the Community Outreach program, the students make their ideas into a reality, exploring what it takes to plan and run events in a team successfully, and beginning to organize some activities.
Different students make up the Community Outreach team each summer, but they are always dynamic and enthusiastic. Over the past few years, they have organized a wide variety of fun events, from sponsored activities such as a day of silence and carrying water around the grounds of a Cambridge college, to delivering presentations, making films, and even creating a flashmob in Cambridge’s city centre!
On top of that, they also help with some of the permanent highlights of the Reach Cambridge calendar. Each year, the Community Outreach students get local businesses and other students and staff to donate to the Charity Auction; this evening is always an entertaining way to support a wonderful cause. And at our Fete of Fun, the Community Outreach students sell decorated cakes and biscuits and arrange a football tournament with all proceeds going to the charity.
At the end of each of our summer programs, we have ‘SABRE Day’. This is a wonderful way for everyone at Reach Cambridge to get involved in fundraising by taking over Cambridge city centre! Everyone paints their face with the Ghanaian flag, and wears special t-shirts painted earlier in the program. We are joined by Ghanaian dancers and African drummers, and soon the town centre is filled up with people dancing and drumming!
It is brilliant that every year we have a group of Community Outreach students that are so keen to take part in a project that really makes a difference. Without their enthusiasm and great ideas, we just wouldn’t be able to support such an important charity. We’re also very grateful to all of the Reach Cambridge students, who are always extremely generous and love joining in.