By Lucy Robinson
Mentoring shy or younger students, cooking meals for the disadvantaged and raising funds to educate breast care nurses – these are just a few examples of contributions Walford students made this year to the communities that have supported them on their own learning journeys.
A special service held in September for the end of Term 3 recognised these efforts as students from middle and senior school year levels spoke about their experiences of being part of a community.
School Chaplain Tracey Gracey says the students’ communities – whether through school, Church or sporting clubs – have supported their individual endeavours throughout their lives and they in turn are committed to giving back.
“The service was about acknowledging and celebrating our gifts – how we contribute our individual gifts, how we work together as a community and how we show love and concern,” Ms Gracey says.
“We actually see this on a daily basis.
“The girls are very caring and supportive of each other, as you can see from their own initiatives and the way they have helped with others’.”
Year 11 student Olivia Sam is one of 20 senior school peer leaders who each mentor five students from Years Six, Seven and Eight.
“It helps younger students to develop their confidence,” Olivia says.
“We arrange meetings and get some conversations going with our girls to make sure that they’re ok and answer any questions they have.
“Some girls might need a bit of help and it also helps me because I can make new friendships with other years, not just my own year level.”
Boarder Sophie Greenslade, also in Year 11, helps with cooking, cleaning and serving meals with a group of fellow boarders as part of The Picket Fence emergency food assistance program at St Mary’s parish.
“In the boarding house we’re just one big family – everybody gets along so well and we’re all like sisters,” Sophie says.
“We want to share that support with other people who probably don’t get as much support as we do.”
Year 12 student Elle Cordingley ran the Pull On Your Socks campaign at Walford to raise funds for the McGrath Foundation to educate breast care nurses.
Elle arranged the event in partnership with her brother at Prince Alfred College.
“I thought it was a great opportunity to help a cause that hadn’t really been recognised yet in the school community, and also to do something with another school, which Walford hasn’t done before,” she says.
“By working with another school we’re hopefully showing that our schools in South Australia can achieve even more together to help a charity.
“I’m really proud to be a Walford student, and it makes me really happy to see the way we support each other and the community.”