Local youngsters taking part in the National Citizen Service, a Government-sponsored scheme that challenges people aged 15 to 17 to build skills for work and life, have raised over £500 for the Teenage Cancer Trust.
As part of their project the group visited Elmbridge Village, an age-exclusive retirement community in Cranleigh, numerous times over the course of a month to entertain and spend time with approximately 100 residents.
They interviewed some of the residents, which include Charles De Gaulle’s former chauffeur and Yvonne Sintes, the first female jet airline captain, before producing a booklet containing their life stories and holding a raffle.
Donations for the booklet together with the money raised from the raffle amounted to over £500. Everyone involved agreed that this should be donated to the Teenage Cancer Trust.
As a thank you to Elmbridge Village, the teenagers staged a dramatic performance based on Yvonne Sintes’ lifetime of aviation, earning them a warm round of applause afterwards.
The group also spent a day at Guildford train station campaigning for better disabled access after a number of residents said it was a challenging place for them to get around.
“We thoroughly enjoyed the youngsters’ visits and contributing to such a worthy cause,” says Derrick Myers, who lives at Elmbridge Village and organised much of the group’s activity while they were there with the help of other residents. “We gained a good understanding of each others’ lives and hopefully they left Elmbridge with some some valuable new skills.”
Rachel Stovold, assistant programme manager at The Challenge, a youth and community charity that delivers the National Citizen Service, set up the Elmbridge visits. She added: “It was a fantastic opportunity to work with and meet the residents of Elmbridge Village. The inspiring stories collected from residents such as Yvonne Sintes empowered the young people to continue to get involved in their local community. This year we led 1,450 young people across Surrey through the programme, resulting in 41,250 volunteering hours benefiting the local community and £45,000 raised for local charities throughout the county.”
The Challenge is on the lookout for local businesses, community leaders and organisations to get involved in the National Citizen Service Autumn 2016 and Summer 2017 projects. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Retirement Villages, Elmbridge Village, Essex Drive, Elmbridge Road, Cranleigh
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