Mentors make an impression


Year 11 students from Beacon Community College in Crowborough have put their leadership skills to the test at a Territorial Army base. They were invited to mentor a younger group of pupils from a school in Tunbridge Wells over two days of activities. They encouraged, guided and challenged pupils with team games, camouflage techniques, survival skills and following instructions.

The same group also visited Raystede Animal Rescue Centre, where they interviewed staff and completed a work taster. Before going, the students raised money and collected tins of dog and cat food to take with them.

They toured the kennels, cattery, outdoor aviary birds, rabbitry, geese, duck, swan and chicken enclosure, stables goats, sheep, llamas and the small rodent house. During the interview session, Gemma Price, was asked questions about skills and qualities needed to work with rescued animals, costs of running the centre, its history and about the volunteers. During the work experience session the students were shown how to make dog kongs and asked to make as many as they could.

Meanwhile, year nine pupils who have been working towards ASDAN Bronze/Silver enjoyed a two-hour graffiti session with two artists from Brighton. They were challenged to make a graffiti board that could give a positive message to the wider school. They chose to show the good things about Army life and the bad things about prison life, reflecting two of the recent topics the pupils had studied. The school's ASDAN co-ordinator, Julie Watson, said: "The session was brilliant and all the students produced a great graffiti board to display in school. There has been great feedback about the boards."