ASL always strives to be a school that gives back, most notably through its community action program. So it is with great pride and gratitude that we announce the volunteers of the Rugby Portobello Trust (RPT), an ASL community partnership, were honored with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) in June.
The honor is the highest award given to UK volunteer groups to recognize outstanding work done in their own communities. As shared in RPT’s press release:
The QAVS is recognition of what we have seen daily for many years: that our volunteers have established a benchmark for excellent work. There are more than 200 volunteers working in our services, fundraising events and in the office. The support they give is far more than a welcome addition—it is vital to the continuation and success of RPT’s programs, which support some of the most vulnerable and at-risk people in our community.
Based in North Kensington, a London neighborhood that reports the highest levels of income inequality according to research published by the Trust for London, RPT serves local children and adolescents to help them fulfill their potential, keep safe and build and engage with their community. The organization gained national prominence following the tragic fire that destroyed Grenfell Tower in 2017, playing a key role in supporting the local families who suffered devastating loss. During the school year, ASL HS students make weekly after-school visits to RPT to volunteer at the homework club, a free service supporting primary school children. QAVS inspectors visited the site this winter to see the homework club in action, staffed largely by ASLers on Mondays and Wednesdays.
ASL community action opportunities such as RPT help students gain a deeper understanding of our local and global communities while discovering new aspects of themselves and the impact they can have. “I volunteer with RPT to support the remarkable services they offer to their community,” said Senior Associate Director of Advancement Sandy Mateus (ASL 2013-present), who coaches the team of HS student volunteers on Wednesday afternoons. “It is truly a fantastic organization, and giving your time and care to young people is the best investment for the future.” Brandon Block (ASL 2014-present), director of community action (K-12) also shared his praise. “Rugby Portobello is a wonderful organization that inspires great loyalty,” he lauded. “Our students love being involved there because they can sense the real, positive impact they are having on the young people with whom they work. I couldn't be happier for our loyal volunteers, our fantastic coaches who shepherd them and the amazing team at RPT. This recognition is richly deserved!”
Congratulations, RPT volunteers! And a big thank you to all of the volunteers who make ASL community partnerships possible. Contact Brandon to learn more about ASL’s community partnership program.