Making a Difference in the Community 16 January 2023

The programme of Outreach at Bedford Modern School seeks to expand our students’ awareness of the varying needs of local, national and international communities. Throughout the autumn term, many BMS students volunteered their time and resources to benefit a range of local charities, organisations, schools and care centres.

One such organisation is Tibbs Dementia Foundation. This charity offers a wide range of activities and support to people in all stages of dementia, providing cognitive and physical stimulation in safe and supportive spaces. Last term, once a fortnight, 13 Sixth Form musicians joined a ‘Music 4 Memory’ or ‘M4M’ session at a local church, run by a Music Therapist. There they performed rehearsed pieces, improvised alongside the resident pianist and recited poetry. At the same time, eight other students joined a walking group, taking in the fresh air at a local park alongside people with dementia and their supporters, carers and family members. Both sessions, run by Tibbs Dementia Foundation, provide inter-generational interaction which is highly valued by all.

Our popular ‘Drop In’ sessions also resumed. On Friday 30 September and Friday 14 October, local senior citizens were welcomed into the Refectory where Year 13 students served them tea, coffee and cake. During the latter session, these students hosted a Halloween-themed quiz, followed by a string quartet performance of ‘Palladio’ by Karl Jenkins.

Meanwhile, Senior School students in Years 9, 10, 11 and 12 took part in the BMS ‘Youth Action’ initiative. During their holidays they volunteered at Edith Cavell Primary School and Livingstone Primary School, helping teachers by listening to the children read, as well as getting involved with Sports Days and Christmas shows.

Within the Science department, 13 specially-trained Sixth Form students helped to deliver Science outreach sessions both in local primary schools and reciprocally here at BMS. They delivered experiments and showed the budding young scientists how to use the specialised equipment that we are extremely lucky to have here in our Science Centre.

On 25 November, thanks to the generosity of BMS families, Christmas gifts were hand-delivered to Kimbolton Lodge Residential and Nursing Home, Manton Heights Care Centre and a local Women’s Refuge. Soon after, in early December, 70 boxes full of food and drink were donated to the local ‘Christmas in a Box’ appeal, coordinated by All Nations Church Bedford. These donations were distributed to clients of Bedford Foodbank and other vulnerable people in time for the festive period.

This important work will continue throughout the remainder of this academic year in which staff and students will go the extra mile to make a difference to those who need it.