Anne Weir – an active host family for Pippa’s Guardian – tells us a little about her experience in the area and the importance of the role for international students in the UK who have travelled far away from home and require a safe and comfortable place to stay.
“Both of my children went to an international school in Germany, and my daughter was at a boarding school for a number of years. I remember how hard it was for international children, whose families lived far away, to travel home and back for exeat weekends and shorter holidays and it is even tougher now since the pandemic.
It was important to me that international students have a place to go, where they feel safe and able to relax. I live alone in our family home with a beautiful garden in a quiet and rural location in Worcestershire and I felt I could offer these children a place where they could recharge their batteries and be themselves on their school break. I therefore contacted Pippa’s Guardians and became one of their host families for students studying at schools close to my home.
Pippa’s Guardians looks after hundreds of international students, aged 8 to 18, who study at UK boarding schools in the UK. As part of their guardianship service, they find students suitable families to stay with if they are unable to return home for their holidays. They usually try to match the students to families with similar interests, hobbies or personalities.
The aspect I enjoy most is getting to know the children and slowly building a trusting relationship with them. Some of the children can initially be quite reserved and on their best behaviour, but I find it incredibly rewarding when they feel more at home and their personalities start to shine through.
Most recently, I hosted a girl from Singapore; she was a delight to have stay here, she was polite and helpful and a real pleasure to have around. She worked hard on her schoolwork and was very focussed on her revision and the practical work she did for her food technology course. She even cooked us a three-course meal as part of her school work which was a great success.
I have been hosting since 2019 and don’t hesitate to recommend being a host for Pippa’s Guardians.”