Teens get stuck into projects to help community

The National Citizen Service tea party 

Picture: Sarah Standing (161126-1250)

The National Citizen Service tea party Picture: Sarah Standing (161126-1250)

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TEENAGERS got down to work on community projects across Portsmouth.

About 30 young people, split into two teams, were hard at work at Fratton Community Centre yesterday as part of National Citizen Service.

National Citizen Service co-ordinators Katie Aris, 19, and Lucy Keil, 31, at the fundraising day at the Green Posts pub 

Picture: Sarah Standing (161127-1346)

National Citizen Service co-ordinators Katie Aris, 19, and Lucy Keil, 31, at the fundraising day at the Green Posts pub Picture: Sarah Standing (161127-1346)

One group hosted a tea party for the elderly, while the other painted the centre’s sports hall.

Natalie Douthwaite, NCS team leader, said: ‘It’s been a real challenge.

‘At the start it was a bit rocky because they were a little nervous and apprehensive but they have all come together brilliantly in the past few weeks.

‘Before this experience some didn’t know how to ring people on the phone but now they’ve had real experience doing it.

From left, 16-year-olds Luke Flux, Shelby Johnson, Emma Taylor, Lauren Hogg, and Harrison Tinley

Picture: Sarah Standing (161128-1364)

From left, 16-year-olds Luke Flux, Shelby Johnson, Emma Taylor, Lauren Hogg, and Harrison Tinley Picture: Sarah Standing (161128-1364)

‘Also they’ve learned how to speak to the elderly and they want to focus on combating isolation.’

Martha Gosney, a group leader for the team painting the sports hall, said: ‘They have learned about budgets and how to be responsible for organising things.

‘They learned how to be persistent and how to get a job done even if you don’t get the things that you want.’

Grace Smith, 16, said she would recommend it.

‘It was good – even better than I expected,’ she said.

Pippa Fuller, 16, and Rue Chester, 17, two friends painting the sports hall, said they enjoyed the challenge.

Yesterday there was also a team at the Green Posts pub in Hilsea, holdiong a fundraising day for the Make-A-Wish Foundation that helps terminally-ill youngsters.

On Wednesday, four teams competed in a Dragon’s Den-style-event at Fratton Park, which saw them to pitch an idea to a panel of judges whose job is to distribute £400.

Clare Darlow, NCS social action officer, said: ‘It’s teaching them life skills they cannot learn at school that are going to help them with their future.’

Another team held a sleepout at Fratton Park last night to raise awareness of homelessness.

The teenagers went without phones, and were kitted out with just a rucksack of essential items.

Emma Taylor, 16, said: ‘Seeing the rise in homeless people on the street was our motivation.’

The scheme in the city is run by Pompey in the Community.

The youngsters take part in a four-week programme, which starts with a two-week residential trip, followed 
by two weeks of devising and undertaking a project which will help the community, raising the cash to finance their projects.

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