Community service at Loreto Normanhurst
Community service is an important facet of a Loreto education. Our school song Cruci states that we are “Freed to live a life of service” and at Loreto, we believe in the capacity and responsibility of our students to make meaningful contributions to society.
Through working in their local communities, students gain a greater understanding of the needs and experiences of those who are less fortunate and gain an increased sense of social responsibility. Students also develop transferable life skills such as improved collaboration and problem solving, greater independence, enhanced communication and application of academic learning to real life events. It is hoped that volunteering during their school days is the start of an ongoing commitment for students to ‘give back’ during their lifetimes.
Community service for Loreto students begins in Year 9 as part of the Far North Queensland Experience. Students in Year 10 and Year 11 are required to log 20 hours of community service each year as a requirement for graduation. This work is unpaid and is done in the student’s own time. Students should look within their local community to seek out opportunities to contribute and these could include volunteering at nursing homes, community centres, environmental organisations, hospitals and charities. Approval will need to be given prior to commencement to ensure that it meets the school’s requirements.
It is best to start considering options for community service early in Year 10 as they can take time to organise. Please discuss community service options with your daughters and if they are having difficulty gaining sufficient hours of service, please direct them to the Loreto community service page, Mrs Parker or myself as there are some possible school-based options.
One such opportunity is volunteering at Exodus. Loreto Normanhurst has an ongoing commitment to provide volunteers to serve lunch once a month at the Loaves and Fishes Restaurant, run by the Exodus Foundation and Bill Crews. Students (under the supervision of Loreto staff) assist with the preparation of the lunch service, serve the meals to the customers and clean up the restaurant afterwards, leaving it ready for the next shift. Volunteering at Exodus is eye-opening, inspiring, rewarding and a lot of fun.
Recently, students were sent an email offering the opportunity to volunteer at Exodus and parents and carers are welcome to accompany their daughters on this experience.
If you know of a charity or community project that would benefit from volunteers, please contact Mrs Libby Parker.
Ms Melissa Clancy
Social Justice Coordinator