Sunday, August 11, 2013
YOUNG people from Exmouth and Sidmouth have been making a difference in the local community, helping out on a new allotment project and at a local supermarket, learning communication skills along the way.
The teenagers – aged from 16 to 18 – have been participating in a four-week National Citizens Service programme.
As well as taking part in outdoor adventure activities, they’ve been learning about local community groups and charitable organisations, before choosing one for a social action project.
The group selected a new allotment at Exmouth’s Pound Lane, a “spin-off” from Exmouth’s Glenorchy Work Club.
In time the allotment will become a space for unemployed people to “chill”. The area will also be used by clients of Rethink – the mental health charity – and the Learning Disability team.
To provide a “reflective space” at the allotment, the NCS group decorated the area with wind chimes – made from shells and sticks, found on a local beach – and pebbles, painted with “inspirational” messages.
“They wanted to help the Work Club and came up with all these ideas,” said Daniella Lunn, the 19-year-old lead worker for the NCS project in the area. “We’re really proud of them.
“They wanted to give something back to the community. They also wanted to help people with mental illness and learning difficulties, and give them an area to get away.”
Daniella explained that the young people wanted to leave a “legacy” in the community, to make “a difference”.
“We also wanted to change opinions among other generations and community members that have this image of young people. We want to change that image and give the young people the tools to do so.”
As well as the allotment project, the group also contacted a local Tesco branch. They have been helping to pack bags at the store, raising funds for local charities.
“The group had never met each other until three weeks ago, and now they’re working together, to create this social action project,” said Daniella.
“They are organising it all themselves – giving them communication skills which are going to be invaluable for the rest of their lives.”