A group of teenagers from Mansfield has been busy spreading the word for a children’s disability charity as part of a national day of community volunteering.
The teens took to the town’s streets and the half-time pitch during the Mansfield Stag’s Saturday league match to ‘Tell 25′ people about the work of the Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children, the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness.
The activity was part of Action Day on Saturday 5 March, which was organised by the UK’s flagship youth programme, National Citizen Service (NCS). In addition to Mansfield, teenagers in Chesterfield, Derby and Nottingham volunteered their time to promote Newlife’s essential services while their efforts were similarly matched by NCS participants across the country, all undertaking social action projects for local good causes.
“NCS Action Day is all about showing young people’s enthusiasm and commitment for their communities,” said Daniel Muggridge, 17, from Mansfield. “Newlife needed help to shout about their services and we knew we could do that!”
The charity, which provides specialist nurses and runs the only national emergency equipment service for disabled and terminally ill children, marks its 25th birthday this month.
David Reeves, Newlife fundraiser said: “The idea is for people to tell 25 others about what we do and for them to tell another 25 and so on. We hope families with disabled or terminally ill children will then learn more about what we can do to support them.
“The NCS teams exceeded our expectations, going out onto the streets and arranging to visit the Stags. Our charity supports young people up to the age of 19 and when we did the training session with the NCS participants there was a lot of empathy with what some of our young people have to face.”
Daniel addressed the 3,000 Stag supporters at the match on Saturday and hopes that many will go on to Tell 25 others.
Daniel, a pupil at Outwood Academy Portland in Worksop, attended NCS in the summer of 2014. The four week full-time programme includes outward bound activities and a week away from home learning important life skills, before volunteering at least 30 hours to a community project.
NCS is delivered regionally across the East Midlands by employability and skills specialists Ingeus in partnership with a number of subcontractors.
NCS’s independent evaluation has shown a significant increase in a young person’s interest in their local area since taking part in the programme. Three quarters (76%) of teenagers post-NCS agreed they were more likely to help out locally, and six in 10 reported feeling a greater responsibility to their local community. The summer programme also showed that NCS participants do six hours more volunteering a month than peers who haven’t been on the programme.
Pictured: Daniel Muggridge, Morgan Johnson-Streets, Charlotte Eatherington-Marsh, Marcus Nettership, and Ingeus’s Sarah Hartley at Saturday’s match