St Dunstan’s College Welcomes Mayor of Lewisham

By School House

2 years ago

St Dunstan’s College, Catford, south east London, was delighted to welcome the Mayor of Lewisham to the school on Wednesday 12 October.

Damien Egan, who has been Mayor of Lewisham since 2018, visited St Dunstan’s for a tour of the college grounds and to meet with the Head, Nick Hewlett.

St Dunstan's college gets a visit from the Mayor of Lewisham
St Dunstan’s college gets a visit from the Mayor of Lewisham

During his visit, the mayor was given a tour of the college by a group of sixth form prefects. He was able to see the new Junior School, STEM Centre for Excellence and Innovation and Sixth Form Centre, which were opened last year and hear first hand how it has enhanced students’ learning at the college and been a benefit to the wider community.

St Dunstan’s regularly works closely with local partners including Lewisham Council. Last year, the college announced a ground breaking partnership with Lewisham Council and Westside Young Leaders Academy (WYLA) to establish the Lewisham Young Leaders Academy (LYLA).

The academy was established in response to research and evidence showing disparities in attainment and outcomes for Black Caribbean and dual heritage (Black Caribbean/White) children and young people, not just in Lewisham, but throughout London and the UK.

Through weekend classes, Lewisham Young Leaders Academy provides additional support to young people from across Lewisham through transformative teaching in life skills, including leadership, teamwork, presentation skills and CV building. The programme is designed to develop 12 traits of leadership in the young people attending: bearing; courage; decisiveness; enthusiasm; initiative; integrity; judgement; knowledge; loyalty; perseverance; responsibility and unselfishness. 

The project was recently nominated for Contribution to Social Mobility at the Independent School of the Year Awards.

Talking with the Mayor of Lewisham
Talking with the Mayor of Lewisham

At the time, Damien Egan, Mayor of Lewisham said: ‘We live in the wealthiest city in Europe, and for too long many of our young people here in Lewisham, and particularly those from African and Caribbean backgrounds, have found it difficult to access those top jobs and opportunities.

‘I’m very grateful to St Dunstan’s for hosting the programme and working with us on this brilliant initiative, that is already making such a difference. I’m excited to see what happens next for the programme.’ 

Since launching, the Academy has grown from 40 to 60 students attending each week, with three staff mentors and two parent volunteers. Whilst the Academy benefits from using St Dunstan’s facilities, including our halls and STEM classrooms, staff from the school have also led some of the weekend sessions giving up their own time to lead workshops on climbing and martial arts. 

Speaking about working closely with the local community, St Dunstan’s Head Nick Hewlett explained: ‘St Dunstan’s College is passionate about and dedicated to providing life enriching opportunities to our local community. We realise that we hold a privileged position as an independent school both in terms of our facilities and the experiences of our staff and pupils. It is vitally important for us that this can be of benefit to, and enhanced by, the communities that extend beyond our college gates. As one of the only independent schools in Lewisham, we believe in a broader educational purpose that supports the ongoing aspirations for the betterment of the borough and its residents. The College aims to routinely work with Lewisham Council and other local partners to provide empowering opportunities to local people that will promote social mobility, engender wellbeing, and improve communities in additional to responding with benevolence and charity.’

He added: ‘We are proud to work closely with Westside Young Leaders Academy (WYLA) and Lewisham Council on Lewisham Young Leaders Academy (LYLA). 

‘The team at Lewisham Young Leaders Academy (LYLA) are changing the lives of the young people attending each week, and I look forward to growing our continued partnership.’

See St Dunstan’s online listing here.