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UCL volunteers participated in a One-Off volunteering event at the Ragged School Museum on 19 and 20 February.  

The Ragged school museum is housed in a group of three canal side buildings, which once formed the largest “ragged” or free schools in London. The museum used to be a free school, opened by Thomas Barnardo in 1867, to provide free education for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. The school was closed in 1908 and was saved by local people from demolition as a unique heritage in the late 20th Century.

The Ragged School Museum provides difference experience for children to have fun and experience what life was like for the Victorian poor of the East End. During the event, UCL volunteers shared the history of the museum with the visitors and guided the children to use their imagination in arts and articulate themselves, for example, using paper cups and paper straws to build Tower Bridge. Volunteers have learned a lot about helping children and gained teaching experience, and it was our pleasure to help them.

It’s quite impressive to witness the amazing impact that education had on the young generation, especially those who might have had difficulties to afford the tuition fees. After many years of development, the education system in the UK provides easier access for children, which will continue to make a difference to children’s lives in the future. 

Written by Bixue Wang - One-Off Volunteering Ambassador


There are plenty of amazing one-off events where you can not only help others, but get involved in lots of fun. If you’re interested in volunteering at these events, take a look at our One-Off Volunteering Programme for other time-light opportunities. Keep your eyes peeled for our one-off ambassador logo also, in case you want to go along with a friendly face!