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GSAL Stay Connected reaches out to self-isolating alumni

Wednesday 13 May 2020

Keeping in touch has never been more important than it is now so, as the lockdown was announced, GSAL contacted more than 1500 alumni, aged over 70, by letter, phone and email to offer a helping hand.

As part of the GSAL Stay Connected initiative, a team of volunteers, made up of staff, alumni or GSAL parents, is offering help to older or more vulnerable alumni and GSAL families who have to self-isolate. Assistance can be in the form of a regular phone call for a chat, or practical help with shopping and the collection of prescriptions.

To support the scheme, 200 students in Y11 wrote letters which were also sent out. The response was overwhelming with many OLs and OGs responding just to say how lovely it was to hear from us! Some even included wonderful additions to the school’s archives, including fascinating evacuation documents from one OL.

Others took up our offer of help with one family, who lives a distance from Leeds, asking us to keep in touch with their mother, a former LGHS teacher, while one of our youngest alumna is staying in contact with one of our oldest ‘old boys’ who lives near her. GSAL parents are also helping OLs and OGs with their shopping on a regular basis.

Former Leeds Girls’ High School (LGHS) head of music Margaret Smith, who still lives locally, has had help with shopping from Sandra Law, GSAL teacher and parent. Margaret said: “Sandra has been absolutely brilliant; nothing is too much trouble. I couldn’t have asked for more, but if you were trying to pair people of like minds you couldn’t have done better!

“Shopping lists apart, our conversations have ranged far and wide, on the telephone as well as outside the garden gate, and it has become a rewarding and enriching experience.”

If you would like one of the team to call you for a chat or you would like some more information on the scheme, email alumni@gsal.org.uk or ring 0113 228 5115.

Pictured are Y11 girls writing letters to alumni, during their last week before school closed.

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