Oundle School’s ‘Have a Go Day’ has been running for 30 years and has established itself as a favourite date in the calendars of special needs clubs and schools.
Approximately 350 pupils are engaged during the year in providing service in the community in Oundle and surrounding areas. Pupils work in schools and nurseries, with the elderly and infirm; provide drama for special needs schools, environmental support work at the country park; offer ICT lessons for beginners; help at a local special needs club and produce a Community Newspaper (Oundle Chronicle) to name but a few of the 50 plus activities.
Pupils also help with inner city holiday schemes and have regularly slept rough to raise money for St Basils’ homeless shelter in Birmingham.
In celebrating HAGD, the afternoon of 21 September saw over 100 visitors at the school. Hosted by over 150 pupils, visitors took part in various activities including swimming, badminton, basketball, archery, football, indoor rowing, crazy golf, face painting, boccia, music and art activities.
Liz Dillarstone, Head of Community Action at Oundle School, commented: “HAGD is a really encouraging environment in which our visitors can try their hand at new sports and activities in a safe and familiar environment. It is lovely to see the faces of our guests light up at the prospect of sampling activities which many people take for granted. Our pupils are privileged to host them.”
Seventeen-year-old pupil, Honor Bishop, commented: “I really enjoyed organising rounders at HAGD. It always amuses me how competitive all the players get – Oundle pupils and visitors alike! A small group of us played catch with a girl called Rebecca for nearly an hour. I really enjoyed helping her learn the ‘jump and grab technique’ and from the many hugs we were given, I am sure she did too! Watching Rebecca genuinely improve, and even learn to catch with one hand after she had assured us she would never be able to do so, was inspiring.”
Sixteen-year-old Eliza Dundas commented: “I was one of the face painters, which I really enjoyed as we could make everyone so happy by turning them all into their favourite TV characters, or painting butterflies and flowers on their faces. We painted an impressive number of Spidermen and Unicorns, and even a tiger!”
Pupil Emma O’Dea added: “At HAGD, I helped out with Arts and Crafts – making badges, masks and magnets. Everyone seemed to enjoy making their creations and being able to wear their badges for the rest of the day.”