As has become tradition, each Field Day, the School hosts a tea party for local elderly residents. These are special inter-generational occasions that are vastly enjoyed by pupils and visitors alike, perhaps particularly because of one of their major distinguishing factors: that they are entirely pupil-led. Pupils do all the planning, organising and running of the event, and they also provide all the catering and the entertainment.
On Thursday 14th March, the School's Global Social Leaders and members of the Cookery and Concert Party groups were delighted to welcome more than 100 visitors, for a party that was generally acclaimed to be a triumph across the board.
Planning began in October, headed by Ben Mulligan (I), Alice Hughes (MSH) and Lucy Lees (EDH), guided expertly by Ben Coulson (Rt). This intrepid group, part of the Global Social Leaders initiative, gained valuable experience in event planning, liaising with both the School’s events and catering teams, as well as with the various local care homes with whom the School has a relationship. This term, they also linked up with Age UK to help extend the invitation to local elderly people not living in care homes, and with Guide Dogs UK, who brought three guide dogs to enjoy the company of the visitors as part of their training, as well as offering a fascinating insight into how the dogs are trained.
Event management is never easy, but Ben, Alice and Lucy managed with professionalism the organisation of transport (with thanks to Mr Hudson, Mr Fitzgerald and Mr Humphreys for their chauffeuring skill), laying of tables (guided expertly by Marius, Chantel, Gemma and the KH team), creation of a delicious spread of sandwiches and cakes (with thanks to Miss Wheeler, Mrs Thomason, Mrs Martin and Mrs Rance) and entertainment of both a concert and sing-a-long (with thanks to Mr Moore and Ms Turpin for their inspirational uplifting help), all capped with a fiercely competitive game of Bingo.
There are countless times when I’m proud of Salopians – but events like the Tea Party show them at their very best. The visitors had an excellent time, forging real bonds with their student hosts, so much so that a few were very reluctant to leave at the end of the day and only went on their way with a promise of an invitation to the next party.
We can’t wait.