Charitable young people rewarded for community efforts
HELPING out at a women’s refuge and coaching children in sport are just some of the activities that teenagers across Swindon have been getting stuck into as part of a national initiative.
A graduation ceremony was held last week for students taking part in the national community service programme , which encouraged them to lend a hand in the community.
A total of 43 young people from Swindon College and 27 from New College, all aged from 16 to 18-years-old, took part in the four week initiative.
Sam Bramfitt, curriculum area manager for the sports and public services department at Swindon College, said: “It was about community cohesion and citizenship. They were invited to learn about different community groups and plan a project to help. It could be raising money, painting or whatever they wanted to do.”
The first two weeks saw the students taking part in team building exercises, the third saw them learning about community groups and projects and the fourth saw them helping out their chosen project.
Some students helped the council with the urban community sports games, which involved coaching children from five to eight-years-old.
Another group worked with the town’s women’s refuge by raising about £400 for them during a bag pack.
The group also visited the refuge and saw how it helps women in need.
“The Government has a massive push on citizenship. It is about learning what being a UK citizen is about,” said Sam.
“Some of them didn’t know about the different cultures within the community and who they could help.
“The comments coming back from them at the end were that they now want to help groups in the community. On the back of the Olympics there is a programme called sports makers, which is about volunteering in local sport, and a few of them have signed up.”
North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson visited the students several times.
“He said when he had correspondence from the Cabinet they were extremely pleased with Swindon’s response. They have confirmed funding for next year,” said Sam.
Students from New College volunteered at the Olympics in Weymouth as part of the project.