800 year old cemetery tidied up by students

7th November 2016

Students ?dug? into their own pockets to buy tools to tidy up the cemetery at Old Dagenham Parish Church

The 20 students, who are studying the Extended Public Services course at the College volunteered for the project after their teachers walked by the 800-year-old church in Dagenham village and noticed it was really unkempt.

Errol Seaman the Curriculum Manager for Sport and Uniformed Services and his colleague Steve Burge, a lecturer, decided that it would be a good volunteering opportunity for the students and so went to speak to the vicar, Joel Edwards. The Reverend jumped at the opportunity and work started almost straightaway last Monday, 31 October by this Monday, 7 November, a transformation has already taken place.

Errol commented, “There's been a real change from the start of the week; it's uplifting how young people can impact their community.”

Student Mark Straker, 18, from Romford was one of the volunteers and commented regarding the value of the project: “We have got compliments from elderly people in the community saying 'it looks good boys, thank you for doing what you're doing'.

“It's giving something back to them, since they come here every Sunday for church. Even the Vicar said that people commented on how the place looks brighter and it’s good that people have organised a clean-up of the cemetery.

“It's about giving back and doing something that is selfless. We worked as a team and all chipped in money to buy the tools and hire a van (for the clean-up).”

The students will continue working on the project until this Friday.

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