Archive for July, 2013

India 2014

2014 saw the start of an exciting new venture for Ursuline Links. In addition to our other projects, we sent our first group to India.

On the 21st July, Sr Kathleen and a group of seven volunteers set off for Delhi. Their work mainly involved teaching English to children at Ursuline schools in Delhi and Ranchi but they also managed to find time to explore the local sights and culture of this wonderful country.

New Orleans

In August ten students, three adult volunteers and Sr Catherine embarked on a trip of a life time to New Orleans in America to help rebuild houses after Hurricane Katrina.

 

The students worked alongside the SBP on an Ursuline Sponsored House. The SBP are an organisation that was founded to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina get back into their homes; people who are too poor or those who have fallen victim to contractor fraud. Although the SBP have helped many people, there is still lots to be done, even after 11 years since the disaster and they rely heavily on volunteers, hence where Ursuline Links comes in.

 

The students were painting, tiling and laying skirting boards in over 90 degree heat. The heat was a major factor and made the work tiring and arduous, the students worked in a very challenging and difficult environment, but showed strength, resilience and team work throughout the process.

 

We also spent the day at Our Lady of Wisdom care home where the students led by Sr Regina OSU ran an arts and crafts morning for the elderly residents. The day was a huge success and always proves to be a rewarding experience.

 

It was not all hard work, the students got the chance to explore the French Quarter in the heart of New Orleans as well as go on a plantation and swamp tour where they saw lots of alligators and even got to hold one!

 

The trip to New Orleans was a huge success and one that both the students and adult volunteers will remember for ever. It was an extremely rewarding experience.

 

 

 

 

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London Social Justice

Early August saw the start of our London Social Justice project for A Level students. This year we had 14 student volunteers, coming from our Ursuline schools in Wimbledon, Forest Gate, Ilford and Greenwich and they spent a week volunteering in the same locations used during the Young Adults London Social Justice project.

 

The student volunteers are accompanied by an adult chaperone as they go to each venue and this year, our chaperone team was joined by several new our Youth Leaders, all of whom had volunteered with us in the past and were now helping as chaperones. They were wonderful role models for the student volunteers and the fact that they were already familiar with the venues meant that the whole week ran very smoothly.

 

They also helped at a Holiday Week for the elderly at the Woodgrange Baptist Church and with a variety of Neighbours in Poplar community projects run by Sr Christine Frost.  Our volunteers gained an enormous amount from all of their placements and learned a lot about life and themselves in the process.

 

We had two gathering points during the week, one on the Tuesday afternoon to reflect on their placements and to check that all was running smoothly and the other on the Friday, when we had a final reflection followed by a celebratory meal together to mark the end of the project.

 

 

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Wythenshawe

This summer was the 5th year for the Wythenshawe Day Camp and it has to be said it was our best year yet. Children from 5 different primary schools in Wythenshawe and students from 3 different schools in the south met as one: Ursuline Links. A group of 5 eager students arrived ready to begin their service project, it’s fair to say there were mixed emotions from both adults and students as it was Bernie and Zaz’s first year in Wythenshawe.

 

Monday kicked off like many mornings with a talk and prayer from Sr Damien, the children quickly settled into their groups and got to know each other and their student leader. By the end of the first day you couldn’t tell who was from each school as the students, teachers and adults gelled as one.  The week continued with many exciting activities including arts & craft, sport, dance, drama and of course a trip to Gulliver’s World! On Friday the week concluded with a prayerful Mass and presentation where the children and students said their farewells.

 

Although the camp only runs for one week it is unbelievable to witness the changes in both the children and students. The children grow in confidence and thrive on the love and attention given to them each day.

 

 

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Sr. Regina Marie Fronmuller, OSU

I am an Ursuline Sister living in community and working in New Orleans, LA, USA.  I have an artistic spirit that comes alive in all  activities of my life. As I continue to teach, mentor and work with students  and adults, I bring  forth the gifts in others.

In the last few years, I have been working with volunteers who come to our  city to help rebuild the hearts and homes of Katrina victims.

In 2010 I became involved in Ursuline Links and have seen it grow from  strength to strength. I am delighted to be the American member of the  committee and pleased that young people from New Orleans are able to do  service in the UK.

Sr. Beatrice Garnett

I’ve been an Ursuline sister for 40+ years and for most of that time I’ve been  teaching and enjoying it: Religion, Geography and whatever was needed in  our London comprehensive schools. Since retiring I qualified to teach English  and spent a year in Paris and 4 years on a Benedictine mission school in  Limpopo South Africa, mostly teaching English and Bible Studies.

My interest in Ursuline Links is particularly to be able to help both our senior  pupils and education in developing countries.

Sr. Catherine Kelly

I have been linked with the Ursulines since the age of 11 when I went to  school at the Ursuline Convent, Wimbledon. Even at that age we were  encouraged to be of service to others. Since retiring from teaching I have  been able to spend time doing voluntary work with the Christian arm of the  Olympics, an African charity and in a food bank.

I have loved working with Ursuline Links since it began in 2010 and have  accompanied two groups to New Orleans and a group to Idaho. It is wonderful to see how enthusiastic the students are at the projects and also  how deeply they think when reflecting about the day at work on the site.

Sr. Damien O’Mahony

I’m the northern arm of Ursuline Links!

As an Ursuline Sister my ministry has been with Primary aged children,  particularly in poorer areas of London.

I now live in Wythenshawe, a suburb of Manchester. I am closely linked to  Primary schools where I also love to teach. I enjoy working with young  adults and hope to inspire them to make Primary education their career.

Hannah Wood

Hi, I’m Hannah the Ursuline Links Youth Minister. I am new to the Ursulines and so glad to be a part of it.

I graduated from the University of Bristol in 2014 with a degree in music and then spent two years in the Sion Community on the youth mission team, where we visited secondary schools across the UK, running mission weeks. It was during this time that I first encountered Ursuline Schools, both in Ilford and Greenwich.

I am passionate about the work Ursuline Links does, providing young people and adults opportunities to use their gifts and talents to be of service on the various projects run in the UK and overseas. I’m excited to be a part of Ursuline Links and to be working in all the UK Ursuline schools.

Sr. Anne Benyon

I am an Ursuline Sister and live in South-East London. I have spent the major  part of my life as an Ursuline in a variety of educational ways.

I have always considered the spiritual and personal development of students  to be of paramount importance and that one of the best ways of achieving  this is by initiating and supporting different projects outside the stricter  confines of educational establishments. Such projects have, I believe, been  both successful and enjoyable and enabled students to mature in  different ways.

For this reason, I was very happy to be working with Ursuline Links where I  have already witnessed at first hand the amazing burgeoning and, indeed,  realisation of such hopes.