St John’s is fortunate enough to enjoy strong links with a number of schools and organizations within the local area, the country and also across the world.
Alongside enthusiastic fund raising for a variety of projects, our boys participate actively in learning
about each charity and those they benefit. Great emphasis is placed upon our boys understanding the needs of people less fortunate than themselves and developing an empathy for the needs of others.
Raising money is one thing but this inevitably leads to short term involvement. We strive to set in motion a change in the boys’ life-long attitudes, such that even when they have left school, they recognise the important role they have yet to play in the lives of others and to recognise such opportunities. The role of parents in this action is invaluable: for boys to see in their own family lives the importance placed on ‘service’ and generosity will support the role of the school significantly.
We offer our boys the opportunity to engage actively in the local community: whether it is our senior boys visiting a local care home for the elderly to entertain or talk with the residents or our Middle School boys helping to pack Christmas parcels for homeless people it is important that they see their actions having a positive impact on others.
Two charities that are particularly close to our hearts are Jesuit Missions, through which we have built a profoundly beneficial relationships with St Rupert’s School in Zimbabwe and the St John’s Holiday Children’s Trust.
St Rupert’s School is in Zimbabwe and located in an area of intense poverty and political upheaval. Through the work of the St John’s community we are able to offer them financial and professional aid: whether through the provision of books and educational resources, provision of food for their poorest pupils or the renovation of classrooms. We sent two teachers to St Rupert’s recently in order to help us consider how we might develop both relationships in the future but also consider ways in which we can further support their work. However we are fortunate indeed also to gain positively from our relationship and it has been the greatest privilege to welcome teachers from St Rupert’s to learn first-hand about life in Zimbabwe and to exchange small gifts and work on projects jointly between the two schools. One example is a large patchwork quilt which the pupils and families have made which hang currently in both schools.
The St John’s Holiday Children’s Trust (SJHCT) is a week long holiday for handicapped children which is held at St John’s. Through the help of old boys, other volunteers and our own families and boys we are able to welcome approximately 20 children to St John’s for a week of fun activities in a loving and caring environment.