Teenagers get active to combat homelessness

A 14-strong team of teenagers from the National Citizenship Service (NCS) are taking on a series of fundraising challenges to buy vital items for homeless people staying at Nottinghamshire YMCA’s hostels.

Giving something back

With an ambitious goal of raising £1,000 for the project, the group has already generated £450 for the cause by tackling sponsored marathons – with plans to host yet more events ranging from swims and bake sales to digital challenges this week!

The fundraising project is being undertaken as part of the group’s work with NCS, a UK-wide service that empowers 16-year-old teenagers to become more involved in their communities and repay local residents for their hard work and support.

Teenagers at NCS are assigned random groups to encourage participants to mix with new people, with various team-building activities and exercises planned along the way. Each group nominates a charitable cause to support, and Nottinghamshire YMCA’s housing services has been selected due to the life-changing impact of the charity on the lives of vulnerable adults and young people across the region.

From bake-offs and swims to online gaming…

Fundraising for Nottinghamshire YMCA was kicked off on Saturday 4 August, with a mixture of 5km and 10km sponsored Fun Runs taking place on the grounds of Wollaton Park, in Nottingham. Participants included: Ameer Saleem, Corey Green, Riya Unadkat, Kiran Johal, Sara Qayyum, Luke Somerfield, Oscar Veenema, Lewis Seyfert, Rhys Trussler, and Theo McCartney.

A bake was also hosted by NCS participants Riya Unadkat, Sara Qayyum and Kiran Johal on Monday 6 August outside the Nottingham Forest City grounds.

Four team members have scheduled an innovative ’12-hour live stream’ event, whereby they will play games and tackle digital challenges for 12 hours using a website app called ‘Twitch’. Online viewers can spectate and donate to the cause online.

Supporting homeless people is ‘necessary’

“We’ve chosen to raise money for Nottinghamshire YMCA because we feel obliged as members of society to help the disadvantaged and homeless in any way we can,” explained Ameer Saleem, NCS participant.

“Our Fun Run was a great success and, thanks to the fantastic backing of our friends, family and charitable supporters, we are extremely pleased with how much we have thus far managed to generate.

“By using funds raised to purchase vital everyday items (such as microwaves and clothes) that most of us take for granted, we hope to make a real difference to the lives of homeless people who turn to Nottinghamshire YMCA for urgent support.

“This cause appeared as a necessary prospect to our team – a social obligation for us to truly support the community while undertaking the NCS programme.”

‘A real privilege’

With the challenges now in full swing, the fundraisers will be completing a sponsored swim from 10am-11am at John Carol Leisure Centre, in Nottingham, on Wednesday 8 August. Participants will have one hour to swim as many lengths as possible.

Any kind of support is warmly welcomed – whether you would like to give a one-off donation or make things interesting by sponsoring the swimmers per length! Those taking the plunge will include: Asim Hussain, Rhys Trussler, Theo McCartney, Samuel Wheat, Ameer Saleem, Lewis Seyfert, Oscar Veenema, Luke Somerfield, and Corey Green.

Nick Clements, Housing Operations Manager at Nottinghamshire YMCA, said: “It is a real privilege to see a group of young people taking an active role of social responsibility and working as a team to support the most vulnerable members of our community.

“When living on the streets with no home to go to, even the simplest items such as a hat and scarf in Winter or bottled water in Summer can act as a real lifeline. We see first-hand in our hostels how even the smallest contributions can make the world of difference when you have nothing – so whatever you can offer, please help these wonderful young people reach their fundraising target.”

How you can help our young people!

To support this intrepid team of kind-hearted fundraisers, please visit their Go Fund Me page at: https://m.gofund.me/ncs-ymca