Youngsters pooch up in charity walk for animals

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YOUNG animal lovers gathered together for a Pompey Pooch Parade across the city, to raise money for stray dog kennels in need.

As part of their National Citizen’s Service project, a group of 11 school-leavers organised a social action campaign, to raise funds for animals and highlight cruelty.

The Pompey Pooch Parade Picture: Habibur Rahman

The Pompey Pooch Parade Picture: Habibur Rahman

The Pompey Animal Lovers, each aged 16, walked about five miles from the Square Tower in Old Portsmouth to Southsea’s Model Village and back.

They were accompanied by 14 pooches from Four Paws Doggie Day Care, and three of its staff members.

The aim of taking part in a National Citizen’s Service project is to allow 15-17-year-olds to impact their community in some way.

And that’s something group member Ashleigh Aslett believes her hardworking group has done for Portsmouth City Council’s stray dog kennels at Great Salterns Farm.

Ashleigh, who has just left Mayfield School, said: ‘Representatives from the National Citizen’s Service (NCS) visited schools across Portsmouth to talk to pupils about getting involved in projects.

‘That’s why our team is made up of 16-year-olds who have just left different schools, like Portsmouth Grammar School and Portsmouth High School for Girls.

‘We’re working with Pompey in the Community to raise the money, and everyone who signed up to take part in a project met at their centre and got put into different groups.

‘As everyone in our group is animal lovers, we decided we wanted to focus on helping them.

‘We’re going to buy towels, bedding, dental sticks, and other items for the dog kennels, and pass them on next week.

‘The whole thing has been a really good experience for all of us. We’ve got really strong as team and everything we’ve done wouldn’t have been possible without everyone’s input.’

The group’s fundraising target is £340. So far they’ve raised £60, and were given an extra £135 at a Dragons’ Den day in which the group, along with others taking part in a NCS project, made a bid for money.

Andie Poulaki, 24, is an NCS team leader and led the animal lovers on their fundraising journey.

She said: ‘We help youngsters co-ordinate their projects and guide them. The Pompey Animal Lovers have been really motivated and are very passionate about the cause they’ve chosen to support.’

To donate, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/tom-phillips34.