Ringwood Secondary Student Project

November 24, 2014

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Interchange Outer East is embarking on an exciting new project in collaboration with Ringwood Secondary College.

Earlier this year Jess Van Arendonk, IOE volunteer coordinator and Nicole Solomon from Ringwood Secondary came together to discuss the creation of a project where they could work together to achieve a result which would benefit both Interchange Outer East and Ringwood Secondary. The resultant project entitled the ‘Student Volunteer Program’ has the objective of educating students at Ringwood Secondary in the ethos of community service and philanthropy. It is anticipated that this project will be the first step in the establishment of a sustainable, long term relationship between Interchange Outer East and Ringwood Secondary College.

The program aims to provide Ringwood Secondary College students with the opportunity to experience the act of helping and giving to others and the opportunity to learn skills in leadership. It is envisaged that the program will create a culture amongst students that encourages philanthropy and community service within their local community and their College. Through the partnership Interchange Outer East hopes to increase its pool of volunteers who support Interchange participants to access services. This will ultimately mean IOE participants and families will benefit greatly from the continued involvement of volunteers from Ringwood Secondary College.

An application was made to Bendigo Bank for $13,048.20 to assist in recruiting and training the students from Ringwood Secondary. This was successful and the cheque was presented to the project partners on November 5 at the College. The program will commence in Term 4 of 2014 and aims to have all students trained and ready to volunteer for the summer school holiday break. As the major funder, Bendigo Bank has requested that they be kept informed and be involved in as much of the project as possible.

As part of the project, an application was also made to the Lord Mayors Charitable Foundation for $5000 to fund a camp that Ringwood Secondary students will plan and attend along with participants from IOE. Due to the success of both grant applications, totaling $18,048, the envisaged project is able to proceed in its entirety.

Interchange Outer East and Ringwood Secondary College are grateful for this financial support and look forward to both the success of the Student Volunteer Program and to the benefits from growing a culture of community inclusion and involvement amongst the Ringwood Secondary student population.

by Sandra Leehy

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