OAT wins Community Trust of the Year at MAT Excellence Awards

  6 July, 2023

OAT has won Community Trust of the Year at the prestigious MAT Excellence Awards.

Over the past few years, and with the support of the National Student Council, nine youth social action projects have been developed, designed to make a difference to local communities. General themes were based on supporting our academy and local communities with physical health and mental wellbeing, community cohesion, arts and culture, the local environment, and inclusion, diversity and equality.

Labelled as #WeWill, the programme grew through local community partnerships; fundraising activities; and the support of OAT families. As part of this, students at Ormiston Sir Stanley Matthews Academy have worked with a local care home to create memory boxes for those suffering from Alziehmer’s which was spearheaded by one student who lost her father to the illness.

Other standout #WeWill projects include:

  • At Ormiston Forge Academy, students have been breaking down barriers around second hand clothes by encouraging fellow peers to attend their Re’Love events. Their Re’Love events are a chance for them to received clothes and other items from their communities, sell back to their school community at a very low cost. All money raised has been put back into more events, charitable donations and towards the sustainability of their project after the campaign finishes.
  • At Ormiston Six Villages Academy, students have been learning skills on how to be safe online. They designed flyers and informational booklets that they have been delivering to the elderly in their community. Working with a local primary school the students have been mentoring primary pupils to equip them with the same skills. Primary pupils then went on to deliver a community day for local adults, to come along and learn cyber safe skills, with both pupils and Six Village students supporting the delivery.
  • After losing a fellow pupil during the pandemic, students and staff at Ormiston Chadwick Academy wanted to develop a memorial garden in Alfie’s memory. Through #WeWill the students have been able to develop an area that fits many needs in their school community. Some of the students also set up personal out of school fundraising activities, such as sponsored runs. All the money they raised through their activities was donated to mental health support charities, looking at grief support. They also went on to set up wellbeing groups for their fellow pupils and more specifically focused on boys’ mental health and their approach to grief.

OAT’s #WeWill initiatives have engaged 9,000 young people across England – both within the trust and beyond – in these high-quality youth social action projects, with the aim to create a new generation informed about issues, skilled in terms of leadership and oracy skills, and empowered to contribute and be the change they want to see within their communities.

#WeWill was made supported by the #iwill Fund. The #iwill Fund has been made possible thanks to a £54 million joint investment from The National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to support young people to access high quality social action opportunities. Ormiston Trust is acting as a match funder and awarding grants on behalf of the #iwill Fund.

Nick Hudson, CEO of Ormiston Academies Trust said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the Community Trust of the Year accolade, which means a lot to all of us because community is at the heart of everything we do here at OAT. I am so proud of the incredible work that has taken place across each and every one of our academies, which is testament to the dedication of both students and staff. I am also very grateful to all of those partners who have played a vital role in facilitating these initiatives, which has made them possible.”

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