Stepping Stones School (UKD-37)

Type: Health: Disability - Country: United Kingdom

Brief description and main aims

Stepping Stones was founded 10 years ago by parents looking to find the right school for their child. The COINS Foundation continues to support the school today. The use of the site at Sundial provides opportunities for leisure, a fully equipped sound studio; gym, pottery and plans are in place to develop riding for the disabled too. We link with the COINS Foundation for many activities including an annual music festival and opportunities to work with their social enterprise schemes, media production groups and partner organisations such as Habitat for Humanity.

The other charitable foundation that supports the school is the DFN Foundation which is investing in the renovation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s home (author of Sherlock Holmes) as a new school site.
This is an exciting project which will see the school take on the legacy of a world renowned author and historical building as well as magnificent grounds. This next year we hope to be moving into our
new premises with all the opportunities it offers.

As a school we work closely with a number of local schools and have links to partner projects through the COINS Foundation in Dubai, Uganda and Russia. The school has also worked closely
with Disability Africa over a number of years.

We already have an international feel to our staff group and have staff who speak a range of languages including Spanish, Polish, and Italian fluently and some French and German. English language training is available at local centres which are accessible by bus. We are willing to allow time out to attend daytime courses and provide some financial contribution.

Main Activities

Stepping Stones is a small school in Surrey which provides education for 40- 45 students who find mainstream school too challenging but do not require the support of a full special needs school. We  offer small class groups of about 8 students and provide a rich and varied curriculum. They are an active and lively student body who are keen to learn and take part in society.

We are looking for young people to bring enthusiasm with them into the classroom and beyond. Our students study the national curriculum and will usually go on to college following their time with us. In addition we offer a range of activities through our curriculum including drama, music, art, swimming, sailing and work experience in a social enterprise.

Volunteer tasks

To support the work in class with small groups under the supervision of a teacher. In addition support will be required for students who undertake activities at the local leisure centre or at our partner site, Sundial, where we use a sound studio, pottery and gym facilities. We will also require support to enable students to participate in work experience in the community both at our Cookie Bar and in local businesses.

8.30 – 5.00 Mondays to Thursday 8.30 – 3.30 Friday during term time only. Weekends are free.

Volunteer requirements / Skills

  • Maturity, flexibility, adaptability, responsibility, patience.
  • Good spoken English is necessary.
  • We accept both male and female volunteers aged between 18 –30.
  • Placements are for 1 year only and the project can only accept volunteers to start in August/September.


We are based in Hindhead in rural Surrey about 1 hour by train from central London. The school is situated on the A3 about half an hour from both the City of Guildford and Portsmouth on the south coast. There are pubs, restaurants and shops locally with bus services to larger towns including Haslemere and Farnham where there are links to the national train network. The local area is known for its natural beauty and offers history, art, theatre and entertainment within easy travelling distance.

Restaurants, pubs and shops are available within walking distance as is a large natural park run by the National Trust. Cinemas and sports facilities are available in local towns about 20 minutes by road. There is a leisure centre in Haslemere and Farnham, a Forestry Commission site with cycling and High Ropes, a sailing club at Frensham and numerous historical sites locally. There are music venues in both Farnham and Guildford, and the theatres in Guildford hosts a range of music, dance, comedy and theatre. Of course London and all it has to offer is only 1 hour by train too.

Hosting Situation (Board and Lodging)

The school offers accommodation in an excellently furbished offsite apartment situated above the school social enterprise coffee and cookie bar. There are 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, kitchen and small lounge area. The larger lounge is used for meetings by the school and local partners. The flat is fully equipped with new furnishings as well as washing machine and kitchen equipment. Downstairs in the Cookie Bar, which is linked to the school, freshly cooked food is available to purchase (Mon – Sat). The flat is just 2 minutes’ walk from school and is situated in a small row of shops which includes a small convenience store for everyday needs. A food allowance budget will be provided and the flat has a fully fitted kitchen with all utensils.

More Information

To see the exciting projects we work on and the students that we support visit our website:

Explore our projects world-wide

Explore our Projects Database and find placements among over 800 volunteering opportunities in 41 countries.

Long-term Projects

You can see all the projects on a country leaving the Project Type field empty and selecting a country.

Project Type:


Short-term Projects

You can see all the projects on a country leaving the Project Type field empty and selecting a country.

Project Type: