Volunteering Opportunities for Hyndhead Pupils
Hyndhead School is a Special School in Buckhaven, Fife, for young people with complex additional support needs. Along with Fife’s other Special Schools, Hyndhead signed up to a pilot project which explores the world of work in a fun, educational and interactive way.
Three of the young people at Hyndhead are approaching the end of their time at school and the project has been providing opportunities to volunteer and gain valuable experience with local employers to support their transition from school and continue developing their work-based skills.
‘Clear’ is a Buckhaven & Methil based charity that focuses on community-led environmental action for regeneration. They have a variety of volunteering opportunities including food production, gardening and bike maintenance. The young people from Hyndhead School have been supporting their work in the community garden while learning on the job about different tools and gardening techniques.
Similarly, the Salvation Army in Buckhaven have a variety of community initiatives which the Hyndhead pupils have been involved with. On a Wednesday morning the pupils have helped at a coffee morning by cleaning up and serving food & drinks. They hope to support toddler groups in the future where their caring nature and skills can be benefited from.
These opportunities have provided the chance to use industry specific skills in gardening and hospitality while developing the soft skills needed for employment including team-work, following instructions, communication and reliability.
It is hoped the pupils continue to enjoy their volunteering and have the opportunity to continue this when transitioning out of school. The benefits for all participants is clear to see as young people build their confidence and complete meaningful employment related tasks.
Overall the project has provided valuable experience to the pupils of Hyndhead and hopefully supports their next steps out with school.
Mairi Foster, Class Teacher at Hyndhead school said,
“The work experience opportunities and learning completed with Brendan this session has been invaluable for our senior pupils. All pupils, no matter their ability or future destinations, have benefited from new experiences and have contributed to the local community.”
Testimonials from pupils at Hyndhead
“I like to do cleaning, take the food orders and tidy up. It [volunteering] makes me happy because I’m helping people and speaking to people”
“I prefer working inside and I enjoy cleaning the tables”.
“Gardening volunteering is good, my favourite thing is digging holes and I got to plant a tree”
“It [volunteering] is getting me ready for leaving school”