Students host ‘Communi-tea’ to help combat social isolation

Tuesday 12 May 2015

Students hosted their first ‘Communi-tea’ last week where elderly members of the local community were invited to join them at the school for afternoon tea. Residents from the Tower Bridge care home, members of the Black Elderly Group Southwark and Trinity Social Club, a group for those who feel socially isolated, came to share their stories and talk about local history with the students.

The ‘Communi-tea’ has been set up by students to help combat the isolation that older people in our community can feel. The students were prompted to act by the knowledge that loneliness and isolation have been found to be triggers of poor physical and mental health, especially in the elderly.

During the afternoon guests were entertained by the beautiful singing of year 9 music students Camilla and Lilla, with one guest saying it was ‘much better than anything she had heard on Britain’s Got Talent’.  Students also served tea and scones, played board games and chatted about their guests’ favourite memories, what school used to be like and what they would ask the Prime Minister if they had the chance.

Sarah, Year 9 said:

“It took me a little while to come out of my shell, but I learnt a lot once I did and found it really interesting. I'd definitely like to do something like this again.” 

Matt Jones, Principal  said:
“It was fantastic to see so many of our student leaders engaging with the residents of their local community. They gained a great deal from sharing their experiences, listening to the history of their area and discussing common interests with their guests.”

Ark Globe Academy is committed to being an active member of its local community and the ‘Communi-tea’ forms part of an ongoing project which engages students with members of the community that they might not otherwise meet. The school is working with Fellows from the organisation ‘YearHere’ to create meaningful and lasting links with the local area via initiatives such as the ’Communi-tea’ and its new partnership with Southwark Foodbank.