Charity & Service
Ora et labora, or pray and work, puts the Benedictine tenet of 'others before self' at the heart of the education we offer. Ampleforth has an outstanding tradition of charity and service. For us, service describes the quality of relationships that we encourage our whole school community to grow into, that of serving a greater need. This starts with friendships, where we look for the good of the other and cherish them, and extends to the wider community and the world beyond. We promote service in everyday experiences at Ampleforth and create many opportunities for our pupils to develop this approach beyond the Valley.
In addition to the projects below, each boarding House supports a charity of their own choice and works to raise awareness and funds for their chosen charity throughout the academic year.
Alban Roe Project
The Alban Roe project is a Community Volunteering Scheme open to Year 12 Students as their regular Friday afternoon activity. They commit to one placement for a minimum of one term to help and serve people in the local community.
Placements range from helping young children learn in a primary school, working in a charity shop, or keeping an elderly person company in an old people's home. The aim of the scheme is to enable our students to perform acts of service with a range of people that they may not otherwise meet and to grow in confidence in a variety of social settings. The scheme is very popular with students who like to contribute, enjoy getting off campus, and are keen to broaden their horizons. As they work in pairs, it is companionable and a shared experience.
FACE-FAW (Friendship and Aid for Central and Eastern Europe - Friendship and Aid for the World) is the student-led charity organisation of Ampleforth College.
Many of our students have reserves of empathy and compassion. When they see the suffering that exists in the world, they may be moved to help. Sometimes it is hard to know where to start. FACE-FAW is an activity that provides students with an opportunity to respond: it is the way we organise our student-led fundraising to provide help for those in need. We raise money every year for a range of different charities through many different endeavours from sponsored physical challenges to student initiatives like the Rock Concert and the ever-popular annual Colour Run.
The Ampleforth Lourdes Pilgrimage is attended by around 300 people each year, among whom there are many different connections to Ampleforth.
Some are Old Amplefordians for whom it is an important way to stay in touch with Ampleforth, others are parents of Ampleforth students present and past, and others are current students from the Sixth Form. The pilgrimage takes place after the end of the Summer term.
To learn more about the Ampleforth Lourdes Pilgrimage, please visit the Pilgrimage website.
All Sixth Form students are invited to apply to come on the Pilgrimage. This invitation is made just before the Christmas holiday, and this is followed up in the early part of the Lent Term. The Chaplaincy organises preparation sessions for those joining the pilgrimage. The permission of parents or guardians is needed, and Housemasters and Housemistresses are asked for references
The Alistair Roberts Memorial Fund exists to help young people participate in pilgrimages to Lourdes. It was set up in memory of Alistair Roberts (H01) who died in a car crash at the age of 18. He had taken part in the Ampleforth Pilgrimage in 2000 and 2001: he was an enthusiastic and hard-working member of the Pilgrimage, and spoke warmly about his participation. Following his tragic death his family set up a memorial fund to help provide for others what Alistair had valued so much. Many people have supported this Fund with great generosity, and it is now in a position to help a number of young people come to Lourdes, especially with our Pilgrimage.
The Friendship Project
Pupils in the Middle Sixth organise and fund a range of trips and activities for local communities and schools in need. The Friendship Project was established in 2004 and works to provide fun activities and outings for a number of organisations. One of these is Oak Field School in Nottingham, a special needs school for pupils with mental, physical and various other disabilities. The pupils from Oak Field are the same age as our Middle Sixth students but have significant differences.
Middle Sixth students are responsible for raising money throughout the year in order to fund trips so there is no cost to the Oak Field students or their staff. They are also responsible for planning and running the trips and activities and are given the maximum possible responsibility for their guests. Full training, discreet but strict guidelines, and supervision from staff from both schools, mean that both sets of young people bond in a way which every year astonishes the Ampleforth students involved. ‘The highlight of my five years at Ampleforth’ is not an uncommon reflection afterwards. In the words of the Headmaster of Oak Field, ‘This long association demonstrates not only the importance of friendship, but also the learning that can take place when two communities work together. Your students are a credit to you.’
Our students spend the previous year fundraising for the Project. The target is £10,000, but they often exceed this. Fundraising activities include pizza baking, organising and running social events for the younger students and the Sixth Form, collections, selling tuck at competitions, making and selling Christmas cards, designing and selling a branded item of clothing – and in the summer term, getting sponsorship for their flagship fundraising event, The Big Walk: over 72km in 24 hours, walking overnight from Whitby to Ampleforth.
The Big Walk 2022