West Exe students volunteer with St Petrocks cooking meals for rough sleepers

Year 9 students Zack, Daisy and Maisie from West Exe School, part of the Ted Wragg Trust, cooked a hot homemade meal for the homeless clients of St Petrocks this term.

Originating as a community project providing humanitarian response to rough sleepers in Exeter, St Petrocks officially opened its doors in December 1994, having been given permission by the Central Parish of Exeter to adapt two thirds of St Petrock’s church for use as a homeless centre.  Over 600 people every year face homelessness and multiple disadvantages in Exeter and the surrounding areas.  

Many of those who use St Petrock’s are people often viewed as being on the fringes of, or outside of, society. They include rough sleepers, those being supported in accommodation subsequent to homelessness, those facing imminent homelessness, those released from prison and those discharged from hospital, mental health facilities/specialist accommodation.  

The students have been mentored by the paralympian David Hill as part of his work with the Dame Kelly's Trust.  The four Year 9s are all taking part in AQA’s Unlocking Potential Programme which is run by the trust and donating the meals was part of the project’s social action component. 

The Dame Kelly Holmes Trust was set up in 2008 by double Olympic champion Dame Kelly Holmes. It supports retired athletes as they transition from sport and uses their skills and experience to transform the lives of young people through mentoring programmes.  The AQA Unlocking Potential programme, run jointly with the trust aims to bring out the best in young people so that they can achieve their goals.  

The mentors know what it takes to overcome adversity and have the will to succeed not only in sport, but in life too.  Paralympic swimmer and triathlete David Hill grew up by the sea where he learnt to swim at a young age. Despite being born with no left forearm; David was earning swimming badges by the age of 3! His talent was nurtured until David qualified for the 2004 Paralympic Games. He was world silver medalist in swimming in 2006 and took bronze medals in 2009 in both European and World competitions.

The group from West Exe also went along to visit St Petrocks, along with their mentor David, and they were given a guided tour and told more about the charity’s work.  Zack, Daisy and Maisie are now partnering with St Petrocks for a ‘sock collection’, they are asking their fellow students to consider donating a new pair of socks for a rough sleeper.  The ‘give a pair to show you care’ drive is another part of the students’ social action work to impact the local community. 

 Julie Fossey, Headteacher at West Exe School said:

“I am so proud of Zack, Daisy, and Maisie for the work they have done on their social action project.  They all really wanted to do something that would benefit the local community and I know they took a lot away from their visit to St Petrocks.  I hope the sock drive will be a big success!”

Moira Marder, CEO of the Ted Wragg Trust said:

“Being part of and contributing to the local community is a key part of the Ted Wragg ethos and I am delighted that these West Exe students have given their time to help those less fortunate than themselves.  I also want to say a big thank you to the staff and volunteers at St Petrocks, not only for everything they do to help the homeless, but for taking the time to show these students around and help them learn more about social issues.”


Share this