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Volunteering & Outreach at Chaucer College

The successful volunteering programme fosters links between Chaucer College and the surrounding community and gives the students an invaluable opportunity to practise their English in a practical and realistic context. The students are actively involved in events and projects which enable them to observe and be a part of a British community, thus reinforcing the practical elements of learning – being able to express oneself and talk to British people.

These Outreach events often involve going to local schools or taking part in festivals. In schools, the students lead practical workshops on aspects of Japanese culture such as origami, where the children may learn to make frogs, hats , birds etc.; Japanese calligraphy, where they use ink and brushes to copy their names in Japanese script; and Japanese language, where they have a short speaking lesson on some basic everyday expressions.

If your institution is interested in a visit from our students, please contact our Outreach Coordinator Richard Venner at r.venner@chaucercollege.co.uk.

If you would like student volunteers to help at your event, such as beach cleaning, charity runs and summer fairs, please contact our Volunteering Coordinator Julie Maver at j.maver@chaucercollege.co.uk.

Latest Events

Maidstone and Margate Race for Life

September 1, 2016

There were two big events in Kent to raise money for Cancer Research this month. Maidstone held the ‘Pretty Muddy’ race with an amazing 7000 women taking part while at Margate there were over 1000 women on a sunny Sunday. Chaucer students helped out at both events, handing out water and snacks as the tired participants crossed the finish line.

Teacher Education Trainees’ School Visits

July 15, 2016

The Teacher Education students have visited two Kent schools as part of their five month programme at Chaucer College.


Folkestone Multicultural Festival

July 14, 2016

The festival takes place every year in June and Chaucer College has been closely involved since it was launched in 2007. This year we offered the local community performances of the Soran Bushi, a dance showing the struggle of Japanese fishermen against the elements and Kendo, a martial art, with its dramatically dressed combatants. (more…)

Summer Cultural Evening

On Friday evening, Shumei University students had an enjoyable evening using English to communicate with students from Turkey, Spain, Italy and France as they demonstrated aspects of Japanese culture. The international students were shown origami, Japanese games and calligraphy. They also had an opportunity to try on a traditional Japanese kimono, as well as the chance to play the Taiko drums. All this gave Shumei students practice in English, the language of international communication. (more…)

St Dunstan’s Beetle Drive

A group of Chaucer College students were given a very warm welcome by the priest and the members of the Mothers’ Union at St Dunstan’s church, Canterbury After a tour of the church, they tried on the traditional vestments. They then experienced a Beetle Drive!In exchange, the students offered workshops in calligraphy, kendama, origami as well as the opportunity to wear Japanese yukatas .Everyone really enjoyed the evening and the chance to talk to those of another culture.


Folkestone Cancer Research Race for Life

Sixteen Chaucer College students were at Folkestone Cancer Research Race for Life to support more than a thousand runners who turned out on the day in spite of dreadful weather conditions. The students, all rather damp, stayed until the last runner had made it home. Congratulations to everyone for their endurance!


Gillingham Race for Life

May 25, 2016

Chaucer College students were out in force to support the first Race for Life of the season in the first Race for Life to be held at Gillingham. A fantastic 800 runners turned out to run the 5k and to raise money for Cancer Research.Well done to all who took part!! (more…)

Volunteering Awards Ceremony

September 18, 2015

The College held its annual awards ceremony to celebrate the achievements of the students involved in a wide range of volunteering activities across Kent. Over the four months since May, thirty six Chaucer College students completed more than twenty five hours of volunteering and received the Bronze award: another twenty one completed more than fifty hours, receiving the Silver award. Well done to all of them!


Will Adams Festival Gillingham

September 12, 2015

This annual festival in Gillingham celebrates the legacy of William Adams, the Samurai with the blue eyes, known in Japan as Miura Anjin who was born in Gillingham in 1564. In Japan, his knowledge of shipbuilding and navigation impressed the Shogun so much that he became his trusted adviser, was awarded the title of Samurai and given a small estate. William Adams died in Japan in 1620, and is celebrated as one of the most influential foreigners in Japan during this period. Chaucer College students shared their knowledge of Japanese culture by putting on workshops of origami, calligraphy, children’s games as well as with performances of the Fisherman’s dance and Kendo.

– See more at: http://www.visitkent.co.uk/events/9558/?key=will-adams-festival

Whitstable Oyster Festival

July 25, 2015

Chaucer College’s contribution to this annual event included two performances by students at Whitstable Harbour: the traditional Fisherman’s Dance, showing the tough daily struggle of Japanese fishermen against the sea and a rousing Taiko drum performance. Both were well received by the audience, which included visitors and local people, as well as Chaucer College homestay families.