Somerset students work for community
By marion_TLocal | Friday, July 27, 2012, 14:11
Somerset College n Taunton is leading a National Citzen Service project with over 40 school and college students who are spending their summer holidays working on community projects, developing their skills and having fun at the same time. Jeremy Browne MP for Taunton Deane went along to see for himself what the youngsters were doing and off his support.
Students and team leaders from NCS Somerset with Jeremy Browne MP, centre. Beside him, right, is Will Taunton-Burnet, Senior NCS Team Leader, and Kristyn Woodward, left, of Somerset College.
The students aged 16 to 18, have come together from 14 schools and colleges around Somerset, as part of the government NCS programme.
After two weeks of team building, skills development and outdoor adventures, the 42 students from NCS Somerset, which is led by Somerset College, Taunton, are now hard at work on three community based projects around Taunton that they planned and are managing themselves.
• A series of events including sports and activities at Pride in Priorswood - a community fun day.
• Helping homeless and needy people at the Chamberlains Centre at Taunton's North St Church, by carrying out painting and clearing work to provide a relaxing and enjoyable space
• Helping older people at Abbeyfield Residential Care home to enjoy their outdoor environment by making and installing bird tables, setting up a vegetable patch and making the gardens a really enjoyable place to be. The residents have commented on how wonderful it is to have a group of young people come and make a difference to their lives.
"Over the last two residential weeks we learned many new skills and now it's our chance to put them into practise and feel we're making a real difference to Taunton and its people," said student Toni Ellison. "Everybody is somebody and we have all been involved in making this happen. "
It's a fantastic experience and I am so glad that I did it, everyone should get involved with a NCS programme," said student Kezy Mitchinson.A number of local companies and organisations have made donations to help the students carry out their projects, including Wickes DIY Centre, Ian Cooke Painting and Decorating, Willowbrook Garden Centre, St Mary Magdalene Church, Martha Prangnell (community development officer) and Cancer Research.