Watch: After School Citizenship Club

The year 6 pupils from Grayswood Primary School, Surrey tell us about the range of projects they did while part of the Citizenship Club at their school.

While we were in year 5 and year 6 at school we were part of the after school Citizenship Club that did the Make a Difference Challenge several times during those two years. So we’re going to give you a quick run-down of our favourite three projects for you.

The first issue that we wanted to try to help was loneliness in elderly people and a lack of community in our village. We chose to do this because we found out that we didn’t know many people outside of our immediate friends and family. To change this we decided to host a Community Cream Tea where anyone from our village could come to the school to have a cup of tea and a chat.

We created invites that we put through everyone’s letterbox in the village and wrote to Rodda’s to see if we could get some free cream and jam. We laminated copies of old photos from the pub that showed the village in days gone by so people could have something to talk about. The event was a great success and we even had a man who went to Grayswood back in the 1950’s come along for the first time since leaving school to share his experiences and to find out more about the school now. We had some great conversations that day!

‘We think the event helped bring the village together a bit more and we learnt lots about the history of our school at the same time.’ Eliza, year 6 pupil

Our next project tackled a different issue. We found out that many children in other countries aren’t allowed to go to school if they don’t have a pair of shoes. Many children can’t get shoes so they miss out on going to school. A charity that’s helping to change this is Sal’s Shoes, who send shoes from the UK that have loads of wear left in them to countries where children don’t have as many shoes.

So we wrote and delivered an assembly to the rest of our school asking children to bring in their outgrown shoes. Everyone brought so many shoes and all different types of shoes! We worked hard to clean, pair and sort all different kinds of shoes, from wellies to sandals and football boots. We also ran a ‘wear your favourite shoes to school’ day to raise money for postage. In the end we sent more than 150 pairs of shoes to Sal’s Shoes in the end – the local paper even wrote an article about what we had done!

‘We are so lucky to live in a place where we can have a favourite pair of shoes’ – Stanley, Year 6 pupil

In our final project before Covid meant we had to leave school, we wanted to help people in community how might be having a hard time at Christmas. We did some research and found two small local charities who supported people including the homeless, and those who are in hospital over Christmas, by giving them a shoebox of little gifts.

We talked to the charities about the kinds of things the shoe boxes might need. They said things like toiletries and chocolate were best and that putting them in a shoes box would be a good way to deliver them. We delivered another assembly where we asked people to bring these items as well as extra shoe boxes. We were so pleased that so many people contributed – we ended up decorating and filling 50 shoe boxes in the end! We delivered half to the homeless charity and half to the hospital and we were so proud of our school! We know that we made a difference to people and brought a little bit of joy at a time that is difficult for them.

‘The project was great fun to be involved in and made me feel really proud to be helping other people.’ – Tansy, Year 6 pupil

Sign up for the Make a Difference Challenge.