Through this exciting and dynamic Add-On (i.e. extra to and outside of your chosen academic subject), you will earn 10 community outreach hours, learn lots of valuable transferable skills, and be encouraged to use your unique gifts to make a real difference. You will be working in a team of enthusiastic, likeminded young people and supported by Reach staff to create a fundraising campaign that will impact the lives of others in a real and profound way. In many ways, it is the perfect 'icing on the cake' for the student seeking to inform their international awareness and consolidate their identity as a global citizen.
Students sign up for a whole host of reasons: some want to gain experience of project management and team building, some are motivated by the hours of service that they can then report back to their school and add to their CV, and some just love the idea of helping others. We usually find the students who make up our Community Outreach cohort are drawn to it for all of the above reasons, plus other personal ones which make the experience particularly appealing to them.
Reach Cambridge is proud of its excellent links with UK based charities. For the past few years, Reach Cambridge has worked with Sabre Education, a UK-based charity working in rural Ghana to build brighter futures for school children by providing new schools and training teachers. You can find out more about their work here: www.sabretrust.org.
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. Last year, we raised over £5000: an incredible achievement our students could be so proud of, while knowing their efforts made a lasting impact on young lives thousands of miles away.
The Add-On takes place outside of class time across the course, so it will not interfere with your primary study focus. Early on in our evening lecture series, we welcome a representative from SABRE who delivers a talk to all the students about the work the charity does and the inequality it addresses. 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.
The Community Outreach team meets several times a week to plan fundraising activities. This might involve creative projects, such as making a short film to raise awareness, or more practical tasks, such as a sponsored silence. Students hone vital skills of communication, teamwork, project management, and even marketing, as they tell their fellow students and the residents of Cambridge about their fundraising activities and whip up support for the cause.
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. The team are also supported in planning and organising the now-legendary Fête of Fun, which has become something of a Reach institution! The Community Outreach students sell decorated cakes and biscuits, create fun English-fête-style games and arrange a football tournament, with all proceeds going to the charity.
In the past, the Community Outreach efforts have culminated in ‘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 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.
The Community Outreach Add-On is available on all three programs this year. For more information, please go to our Courses page.