It was great to see 13 sixth-form students from Ampleforth College giving time on decorating projects with the Besom in York recently. This week’s blog is their reflection on a memorable experience.
During the last week of June, the Besom enabled us to take part in SHACworks, a week of volunteering in the community. This was the third time that the Besom and the college had worked together in this way, and we had an unforgettable week.
We were asked to decorate in the homes of two families in central York in the hope that their living environments could be brightened. It was hard work physically, but although we had been warned to expect to be challenged emotionally, none of us had perhaps appreciated just how moved we would be by the stories of those we were working for.
After we left work on Friday, we had an afternoon reflecting on our experiences and were asked to identify a high point, a low point and something which had surprised us. For many of us the high point was seeing the work completed, although for some of us it was a surprise that we’d managed.
We were asked to live in community for the week, joining for prayer throughout the day and many of us were surprised at how we had begun the week as a group of sixthformers who didn’t necessarily know one another very well, but by the end of the week we had come to know one another in a much deeper way, having shared not only the responsibility of our work with the Besom but responsibility for preparing and serving our own food, and joining together for prayer throughout the day.