Service to one's community is an important part of life at Notre Dame, and this extends to London as well. It's a great way to make new friends and become part of the local community as well as developing new skills and experiences, contributing to students broader formation as global citizens.
The Gateway has a wide range of activities to get involved in. These range from activities that support others in the local community, to getting involved in charities and not for profit organizations in the wider area, outside of Waterloo.
St Patrick's Church
Notre Dame students volunteer regularly with St Patrick’s Church Open House in Soho Square. The objective of the organization is to offer a warm welcome and a warm meal to anyone struggling with homelessness or isolation. As well as assisting with serving food, the student volunteers also provide company to those in attendance, engaging in conversation and generally spending time with those who have fallen on hard times. True partners in mission, St Patrick’s provides a way for students to connect with the community, and to contribute their time in a charitable and spiritual manner.
The Knights of Malta
The Knight’s of Malta sponsor a Soup Kitchen in St James, and students are encouraged to volunteer their time whenever they can. As well as providing a meal, the service also looks for volunteers to make connections with people who are often struggling with homelessness, and the feelings of isolation that can come with this. Students offer a friendly face and conversation to those who are vulnerable or in need. The goal of the organization is to practice faith and to practice charity, two pillars of the Notre Dame mission.
Coin Street Community Centre is an organization that gives Notre Dame students the chance to use their skills talent and commitment to help local people build the community that they want in Waterloo and North Southwark. This is a social enterprise aiming to make the neighborhood a great place to live, work and visit. Based on the very same street as the Gateway's residence building Conway Hall, Coin Street offers an array of opportunities through which students can use their skills to help build a flourishing community in Waterloo. From befriending the elderly to community gardening, volunteers are invited to take part in one-off activities, regular sessions and project-based programs. Working at Coin Street gives an insight into London culture, and allows students to make connections with locals that they would not have otherwise met. A fantastic way to donate time, students get much more than they give at Coin Street.
The Catholic Cup is a biannual sport tournament that brings together students from Notre Dame and St Mary’s University to compete and raise money for the Cardinal Hume Centre. Alternating between soccer and basketball, the event is an opportunity for Notre Dame students to get out of the bubble and mix with their peers from another university. The evening is often concluded by a social event in a local pub, where students can build connections and generally have a great time! The tournament is in aid of the Cardinal Hume Centre which is based in Westminster and helps individuals and families to overcome poverty and the threat of homelessness.
Waterloo Action Centre
A community charity, Waterloo Action Centre serves Conway Hall and neighbors, offering a range of afternoon and evening courses in addition to providing legal advice, an art gallery and event space. Some regular opportunities include dressmaking. More help is needed with this popular volunteer run project to help men and women with dressmaking and tailoring skills.