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Revd. John Hayton's visit to The Gorsefield Rural Centre 12th September 2008

Children from the Seven Mills Primary School, Isle of Dogs, who were visiting the centre with Revd. John Hayton (centre), Gavin Glynn, Head of the Centre (top left) and Hazel Yearden, Education Assistant (top right).

On 12th September 2008, the Charity Committee chairman, the Revd John Hayton, visited The Gorsefield Rural Centre with a cheque from the Charity Fund which will enable the Centre to purchase six bows, further to extend the burgeoning interest in archery at the Centre since it was introduced as an outdoor activity the previous year.

The Gorsefield Centre is owned by the Borough of Tower Hamlets, but is self-funding. The Centre has a Head and an Assistant, both qualified teachers, as well as ancillary staff. Children from the Borough schools attend in their classes, with their own teachers for periods up to a week at a time, and are exposed to a rural environment very different from Tower Hamlets. For many it is their first experience of being away from home. The Centre fulfils a variety of needs:

For children to develop independence in social and academic skills in a secure and welcoming residential setting. They enhance the moral, spiritual and cultural aspects of children's education by living together;

That meet the specific needs of the children visiting the centre and result in education inclusion.

To contribute to children's skills and stimulate methods of enquiry, recording and evaluation, thinking skills and problem solving in a practical setting;

To promote development of self esteem and constructive attitudes towards self and others through use of initiative, co-operation, collaboration, inter-dependence and challenge;

To promote high standards of behaviour, development of a sense of right and wrong, rights and responsibilities of the individual;

To provide for the special interests, abilities and talents of individual children. The study of an alternative location; places of interest accessible to the centre; different lifestyles.

Tower Hamlets is the third most deprived borough in the country, yet it abuts the City of London. The Company's Charity Fund, amongst its aims, seeks to encourage archery in the young and assist, where it can make a difference, in the life of deprived areas around the City. The Gorsefield Centre was an excellent example of the way in which even a relatively modest sum can enhance young lives. Our visit was made at the end of a residential week undertaken by a primary school from the borough. John shared their final lunch with them. There could be no mistaking the enthusiasm and enjoyment of the children, or their capacity to consume spaghetti bolognaise.

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