Get Involved Volunteering (GIV) is a charity which believes in helping children to give back and make a difference in their community through volunteering.
As the only pupil-led volunteering model of its kind in MK, it is designed for KS3 pupils with disadvantaged and vulnerable students at its heart, supported by the LEA inclusion team in partnership with schools, local businesses and local charity groups.
Not only does this programme help the GIV school-children to develop skills they lack, it also benefits the local community from the social action projects they volunteer on, which subsequently reflects well on the students and the reputation of the school they come from.
In June 2019 our Planting Up project at Westbury Arts Centre was lucky enough to be one of GIV MK’s local charities they would help with their projects.
Working in partnership with local schools, Hazeley School and Shenley Brook End School, 20 GIV MK students descended on Westbury Arts Centre on three separate occasions (6th, 17th and 24th June) to “give something back to the community” by helping us tackle various pre-organised tasks around the garden.
Accompanied by GIV MK leader, Debbie Greaves, there were several helpers on hand each day, involving: teachers, a handyman from Basil Flooring & Property Services, and five 6th form students acting as volunteer mentors (who has been previously trained to support the younger children). This group of staff, combined with a representatives from WAC and Planting Up, supported the project and the young people over the three school days of their social action project to see some amazing results.
There were six jobs that small groups of GIV MK students worked on, in rotation, for 1 hour on each of the allocated days.
And as you can see from the pictures, their efforts quickly amounted to complete transformations to certain areas of the WAC gardens…
Job #1: Clearing the pathway of brambles and weeds at the back of the garden (beside the allotment plot & wildflower meadow, near the fence) to make room for a new Insect Hotel.
Job #2: Painting the fence and cold frames in the allotment plot.
Job #3: Painting the raised beds, pots and tyres in the social area.
Job #4: Creating plant signs on pebbles to help identify what we’re growing in the raised beds and Forest Garden.
Job #5: Make a dual compost bin out of pallets.
Job #6: Creating a pallet-size insect hotel (to go beside the wildflower meadow).
A massive THANK YOU to the GIV MK children and support volunteers for their hard work over the three days at Westbury Arts Centre.
We’re proud to have been part of such a rewarding and enterprising community initiative that is proven to help student volunteers to grow in self-confidence as they build teamwork and problem-solving skills that feed back positively into other aspects of their school and personal lives.
You’ve certainly left a positive mark on our community garden and the Arts Centre environment. You’re welcome back any time to help us maintain it! 🙂