Charity and Service

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Inspired by the Woodard ethos, the College encourages and supports students and staff to get involved in all kinds of voluntary and charity activities. There are a number of ways to do this. All our lives are enriched through new experiences and the opportunity to serve locally or on the other side of the world


CAS and the IB

As part of their IB programme and reflecting the school’s Woodard ethos, many students are involved in local community service projects.

Most weekends, groups head out to projects in the Sussex area.

For example, working with the National Trust at Standen House doing Forestry and Conservation. And helping with the design and build of an outdoor education and play area for young children.

Then, there’s youth work at Activity Days, doing rock climbing, drumming, drama, go-karting and other activities with children with disabilities. This is through the local charity Aiming High for Disabled Children.

We are planning some student-led, in-house events for the local charity No Limits.Students also go into Haywards Heath to help out at Playgroups and Social Groups such as Kangaroos and Gateway.

An exciting initiative is a peer education partnership with the Red Cross. Our students will learn about Humanitarian Relief and First Aid and will be trained to go and deliver presentations in local schools.

Our Charity Action Team continues to raise funds and awareness with regular activities


D of E

The Duke of Edinburgh's Award, a registered charity, is a voluntary, non-competitive programme of activities for anyone aged 14-25.

 An individual challenge, it encourages young people to undertake exciting, constructive, challenging and enjoyable activities in their free time.

These develop self-confidence, skills and leadership abilities.  The Award is widely recognised by employers and people involved in education.

Ardingly College offers the Silver and Gold levels. These include

  • Service/Volunteering
  • Skills (covering almost any hobby, skill or interest)
  • Physical Recreation
  • Expeditions (training for, planning and completing a journey)
  • Residential Project (Gold Award only) a purposeful enterprise with people not previously known to the participant that lasts for a minimum of 5 days and 4 nights

At Ardingly College students have the opportunity to enrol in the award at the beginning of Shell. The level they choose will depend on their age and experience.


The College's Combined Cadet Force was established in 1902. Today, Ardingly CCF are given the opportunity to develop skills outside the classroom. These include leadership, discipline, teamwork, self-reliance and, of course, drill, skill at arms and many other military values and standards. These instil in Ardingly Cadets a sense of pride and bearing.


The Army section is affiliated to the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment.  This allows cadets to take part in military and adventure training not readily available to non-cadets.

Whilst not a recruiting tool, many cadets relish the military challenges and experiences presented to them with CCF service. Flying across Salisbury Plain in an Army Lynx helicopter, visiting HMS Illustrious and even Contingent Mess dinner nights will stay etched in memories for many years to come.


Students can volunteer to join the CCF in Year 9 and can potentially leave in the Upper Sixth as an SNCO or Cadet Warrant Officer. With an indoor shooting range, annual summer camps and logistical support provided by 11 Infantry Brigade’s Cadet Training Teams, the opportunities for adventure and self-discovery are plentiful.


Service Trips

We use our international links not only to broaden students’ horizons, but to teach them important skills such as project management and understanding eco-tourism.  

Our aim is to have a positive impact on developing teaching and learning in the countries we visit. 

Ardingly in India

This is Ardingly College’s third visit to India and will follow a similar format to last year’s programme. Students will be primarily focused on teaching English, to both adults and children, in order to make a positive difference to the lives of Tibetan refugees living in northern India. They will also get the chance to see some of India’s most iconic sites and witness first-hand the amazing diversity of landscape, architecture and religion that India has to offer. We will visit both Agra and Delhi as well as the area around Dharamsala including Bir and McLeod Ganj.

Ardingly In Kenya

In 2009 Ardingly raised £82,000 and built a primary school in a very remote part of the Rift Valley in Kenya. As well as classrooms, a library, a kitchen and a staff room, the project included the construction of a water harvesting system, staff accommodation and a lunch-time feeding programme which we continue to support.  Due to the feeding programme many more children have returned from the fields to education because they know they will be fed.  Over the last two years, we have built a playground and two Nursery classroom as these were the only remaining mud-hut buildings at Ndogo. We have also started to work closely with ‘Restart’, a charity which takes in street children who have suffered abuse beyond anything we can comprehend and built a playground there last summer. Neither political intervention nor massive foreign investment will solve Kenya’s problem. The answer instead lies in educating the country’s children; indeed the more immediate issues of Aids and ecological degradation can only be tackled effectively if the next generation understands the problems and is taught how to deal with them.

Ardingly in Gambia

The Gambia trip is a long-standing ‘Ardingly in Africa’ commitment that looks to benefit 4 schools in The Gambia. Lower sixth students go there and teach fun, interactive, engaging and informative Science lessons to the children in The Gambia and work closely with the communities the schools are part of. Science teaching suffers in The Gambia from not having the resources and facilities we take for granted in the UK and the lessons we bring are always well appreciated. The students, at the weekends, also get involved with community projects and last year helped re-develop the school hall, which is now a great space to be used by the school children and the locals too.

Ardingly in Ghana

We are rejecting the paternalistic and patronising model of so many interactions with the developing world. We are running a cultural exchange that will be built around the individual skills and talents of those signed up and will be a transformative experience for the Ardingly students and the Ghanaians we shall be working with. TangaCulture is a grass-roots NGO that supports about 30 street children in Bolgatanga, Ghana. These children are full of talent and energy eager to be fulfilled. TangaCulture supports these individuals through basic school and meets with them every week to train them in music and the performing arts. There are six committee members of TangaCulture – including a carpenter, a teacher and a motorbike mechanic – all volunteering from the community.