‘Transforming our Communities’ at Windlesham House School

Steve Chalke
Steve Chalke

Windlesham House Prep School was recently at the centre of an important strategic event working in partnership with the Police.

Thursday 14th November saw 150 key leaders convene at Windlesham House School – leaders who are engaged in some inspiring partnerships across West Sussex that are making a difference to those most in need in our communities.

Steve Chalke MBE, UN Advisor and Founder of Oasis Academies and global charities Oasis and Stop The Traffik spoke with Matt Bird, Chair of the 10 Downing St, Community Advisory Group and the Cinnamon Network which has been given £1.2 million from the Cabinet Office for local community micro grants to help those most in need and this is having a huge impact.

The event was introduced by Chief Superintendent Martin Walker, Divisional Commander of West Sussex Police and brought together leaders representing churches, councils, local charities and businesses from across Sussex whose initiatives are changing lives. Steve Chalke and Matt Bird spoke on the vital role churches and local community groups can play through developing effective partnerships with our local authorities.

The evening was hugely successful and provided an exciting opportunity to develop valuable community links, greater community engagement and a growing partnership of co-operation with the Police to help tackle social issues and reduce crime in our region.

The event was supported by the High Sheriffs of both West Sussex and East Sussex along with other previous High Sheriffs of West Sussex.

Justin Blake said: “We all have a social responsibility to help and protect those most in need in our communities. Whilst the police and other statutory agencies play their part, it is not possible for them to achieve all that is required alone and even more so in the midst of this current time of painful austerity cuts.

“We need to work together to effectively address the challenging issues faced in both rural and urban areas of West Sussex.

“A growing network of local community groups has a vital part to play in supporting those most in need and provides an opportunity for local people to volunteer and participate in transforming their communities.”

Reflecting enthusiastically on the benefit of the event facilitated by Windlesham, Graham Peters DL, High Sheriff of East Sussex 2013-2014, commented: “Windlesham is an outward facing and extraordinarily vibrant model of what a 21st-century school should look like.”

Chief Supt Martin Walker, Divisional Commander, added: “The event highlighted examples where the police, churches and others with a passion for social justice, are transforming society in West Sussex.”

Matt Bird, founder of The Cinnamon Network, said: “The Cinnamon Network applauds the effective partnerships that are growing between the churches, council, police, charities and businesses across Sussex which are helping those people most at need in communities across Sussex.”

“We are extremely proud to host and be a part of such an important event for the community,” added Richard Foster, Headmaster of Windlesham House School.

These events were organised by Mr Justin Blake, Head of Community Links at Windlesham.

Justin Blake represents Windlesham on strategic national forums - the IAPS Education For Social Responsibility Working Group representing a growing network of 582 schools across the UK and the Independent School Council Working Group for Community Action.

Report and pictures contributed by Windlesham House Prep School.