Military Veteran Volunteers For Project at St George’s School

8 December 2023

Could You Offer Us Your Help?

St George’s School is located just off Watergate Road in Newport. The St George’s School community is looking to extend a warm welcome to Military Veteran volunteers who have a wealth of worldly experience and are able to offer time to spend with some of our students. The intention would be for students to build positive relationships with community members, share common interests, talk about experiences and for our volunteer Military Veterans to become a positive role model for identified students.
St George’s is a secondary special school for young people aged 11-19 with severe and complex learning needs. As the only state secondary school on the Island we have a diverse range of needs running through our student population.
At St George’s we believe that some of our students are now experiencing the effects of the recent pandemic and the impact of lockdowns; they have missed out on essential social interactions and experiences as a result. We have a small number of students who are experiencing challenges with their wellbeing, and this is often communicated through behaviour that can be difficult alongside dysregulated emotional responses.
Our students are often socially isolated and don’t always form a strong identity with peers at school. They look to community activity or social media networks to build relationships, but these can often have a negative impact on their wellbeing in the longer term. Some of our students are incredibly vulnerable and engage in risk taking behaviours in order to ‘fit in’. This has led to some low-level criminal activity, anti-social behaviour and this has an impact on dynamics within the school setting.
Studies of a recent project involving volunteer Military Veterans in another Island school showed that it allowed veterans to express and reflect on values important to them and relay these values to a younger generation. Military Veteran volunteers stated that they benefitted by reminiscing to children about their service and described the positive effects of participation as improvement in their mood, feeling less isolated and improved memory.
Children taking part in that project showed real enthusiasm in Military Veteran volunteers. In particular, they were enthused by veteran’s presence, their demeanour and their knowledge. The teaching staff noticed a real change in the attitude and attainment of participating pupils.
When you become a volunteer at St George’s you can expect to be treated like one of the school team. You will be provided with a warm space, a hot drink and wonderful students to chat and learn with. You must of course be willing to undergo security vetting.

For more information, you are invited to attend our get to know you tea and cake event at St George’s School, Watergate Road, Newport on Wednesday 10th January 2024 between 1.30 pm and 2.30 pm.

For more information or to register your interest contact the school office on 01983 524634.