A typical summer for a teenager might have usually involved prom, festivals and overseas holidays – but with this year looking very different, one team of seven passionate North Tyneside teens have spent their summer running a project to combat homelessness in the borough.
With the country getting back on its feet, the teenagers pledged their time through the National Citizen Service (NCS) to play their part in helping to rebuild their communities and create positive change.
Among them is a team of inspiring youngsters from across North Tyneside, working with NCS provider Catch22 to help homeless people in their local area.
16 year old Kayleigh Patterson, from Wallsend, said: “We’ve decided to team up to support the homelessness charity Compass, based in Whitley Bay. They do fantastic work with the homeless community and we wanted to make a difference to their work. It is estimated that 320,000 people are homeless in the UK, so change is needed.
“We have filled comfort boxes with products such as tinned food, sanitary products and board games, and we’ve also created a social media page to spread awareness and inspire people to donate to the cause. Once complete we hope to pass the funds onto Compass so they can continue to make a difference and also donate items to The Bay Foodbank.
“Lockdown was really isolating for us teens. If it wasn’t for NCS I’d likely be at home with very little to do. After having everything cancelled this has been the perfect opportunity to get out with new people but also do something where I’m making a difference.”
The team has set up their own Instagram page and are encouraging donations of unopened hygiene products, tinned foods, tinned meats, long-lasting milk, shower gels, board games, books and toys.
During the autumn there is another chance for teenagers to get involved in NCS activity. Visit wearencs.com for more information and to sign up to a local programme.