The school organizes a large and flourishing programme of social service activities, both independently and in partnership with local organizations and initiatives. These voluntary activities form an integral part of the extra-curricular timetable of many sixth-formers at Eton, with about 180 boys currently involved. Each boy will normally perform his social service once or twice a week, in any one of a number of very different activities:
- Local Schools: Boys enjoy working and reading with younger children of all ages at a range of local schools, including the Eton Porny First School, Datchet Church of England Combined School and Eton Wick First School. Arbour Vale is the furthest school visited by the boys (a 20-minute bicycle ride) where they take part in classroom and sports activities with disabled children and children with learning difficulties. New ventures have included helping with PE at the James Elliman School in Slough and assisting in modern language classes at the Eton and Slough Community School.
- The Elderly: Many boys enjoy visiting elderly people in their homes, in Eton Wick and Eton itself: they go along for a cup of tea and a chat, or perhaps to help in the garden. Some boys visit the Charteris Day Centre in Eton, while others go to the Upton Hospital in Slough where they spend time with the elderly patients.
- Charity Shops: Eton has links with a number of local charity shops in Slough and Windsor. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays boys help other volunteers ‘behind the scenes’ with the sorting and display of donated goods.
- Other Work: Some Etonians help at Riding for the Disabled in Fulmer, Bucks. For the last two years Etonians have tended the grave of a young soldier from Eton Wick who was killed in action during the Second World War. Others belong to the Friendly Club and visit the local Mencap centre in Langley, and there is also a ‘Monday Run’, in which boys take food, clothing, and other essentials to the homeless people of Slough. Recent one-off activities have included helping with the Windsor Festival.
Eton Action is a fund-raising organisation which supports international, national, and local appeals. Each year there is a fair in September which attracts a healthy crowd and raises many thousands of pounds. Boys vote on the use of funds raised by the yearly Eton Action Fair and other charitable events organised by boys.
The school is happy to consider helping with specific charitable and voluntary schemes, so far as timetable and manpower allow – please contact the master in charge of Social Service.