A group of our community-minded and enthusiastic Upper Sixth pupils have been helping senior members of our ON community during the pandemic through a volunteer contact scheme. They have offered a friendly phone call to ONs, centred around Norwich School life and shared experiences of school over the decades.
Hearing that some ONs had been shielding indoors throughout the pandemic and many had not been able to see grandchildren and loved ones due to restrictions in place, the pupils wanted to do something to help and working with the Development Office, set up the scheme.
Feedback from both ONs and pupils has been extremely postive:
“I had a most delightful and interesting conversation. I do have a memory of her grandad. We talked for half an hour or more. She is a good listener” said one 83 year old ON from the Norfolk coast. “We had a good talk…, discovering the many things that we have in common, in spite of the rather large difference in our ages..” said another, aged 82 from his Norwich flat.
Pupils appeared to have enjoyed the experience too. “[It] was delightful to talk to him: we had many shared interests in the fields of history and French politics as well as the rich and vibrant history of Norwich Cathedral and the city itself. [My contact] was enthusiastic about how life at Norwich School has changed and looks back fondly on his time here”, commented Ellyn, one of the pupil participants
So what did they talk about? Everything under the sun it seems! From VE Day fireworks to secret trysts in air raid shelters by the light of magnesium ribbon “borrowed” from the chemistry department; from kayaking trips to memories of classmates sadly departed; from post-lockdown travel plans to memories of favourite teachers.
“We are delighted pupils have been proactive in offering help to our alumni during difficult times. We are very grateful to all who took part. As we promised at the start of lockdown: no ONe should feel alone.” Jonathan Pearson, Development Office.