This blog is usually about young people’s volunteering, and what they are doing for charitable causes… with particular emphasis on the UK. But a teen actress’s stand against drink and drugs, and the wild party scene that so many stars fall into, has really impressed me, and I felt that I ought to pass it on today.
Sixteen-year-old Chloë Grace Moretz – star of Kick-Ass – was recently quoted in Nylon magazine as being totally disinterested in becoming a party girl like Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan. She rejects the temptation to go on wild nights out, saying she doesn’t want to risk what she has accomplished so far in her Hollywood career.
Here’s what this young role model had to say:
“I’m, like, incredibly straight-laced, considering what some 16 year olds are doing. It’s probably because I’ve gone to nice events with big people there since I was a young girl. Kids my age at school are fighting to get into clubs and be around an open bar, whereas I’ve had the opportunity to drink and do drugs if I wanted to, and I haven’t. I look around me and go, ‘God’s put me here for a reason. Why would I want to go take a drug or do something that can strip away everything I’ve worked for?’ This business is not peaches and cream, and I’ve fought tooth and nail to earn this spot.”
What a star – we need more teen role models like this!
When the summer arrives, most teenagers will be relaxing, enjoying their holidays with mates – especially if they have just come to the end of their high school education. But eighteen-year-old Charlotte Adams from Southend, Essex (UK) will be heading off to India for a month, to work with the charitable trust Emmanuel Ministries Calcutta (EMC) … which for nearly thirty years has been offering rehabilitation services for single parents who live on the streets; setting up and running health centres; and working in orphanages and slums, fighting poverty, malnutrition and illiteracy.
Charlotte, who currently attends Southend High School for Boys, has to raise a total of £2,200 to make the trip. So far she has achieved just over half of this from fundraising and savings out of her part-time tutoring job. Now she has started selling her personal belongings on eBay to raise the extra funds: so far she has sold a significant percentage of her own wardrobe, as well as various other items.
Christian-motivated EMC is inspired by the belief that “each individual has intrinsic value and deserves respect and dignity”. This is something that we believe, too, here at the Chreda Foundation. We also believe that young people have much to offer the world, and it’s great to see this latest example of the kind of selfless activities that so many of them are engaged in. This is exactly the kind of altruism that we will be seeking to encourage when we introduce the Chreda Prize at the end of this year.
Photo credit: Terry Ife
Ten-year-old Chloe Bamsey from Exmouth, Devon (UK) is walking three miles tonight to raise funds for charity. After hearing at Brixington Community Church how scarce food was in Africa she started fundraising for the charity DevonCHAPs (Communities Helping African Projects), originally aiming to collect around £30. But from midnight tonight the pupil from Littleham Primary School will start a 3-mile walk during which she hopes to raise nearly £200 in sponsorship.
Chloe, who has an 11-year-old pen pal in Africa and hopes to work with poor communities in Uganda and Malawi when she is older, says: “I have never walked at midnight before so it might be a challenge, but I have got to do it for the poor people…how lucky I am: I can go into my back garden, run around, and go and see the sea…in Africa they don’t have a lot – it’s sad. [But it’s] amazing how the money you raise can help them.”
To help Chloe with her fundraising efforts call her mother, Beth Dance, on 07964 950013.
A grant-making programme is seeking to improve the lot of young people in deprived areas of the North of England. The Archbishop of York Youth Trust, which was set up by Dr John Sentamu in 2009, supports and partners with a variety of projects. It has set up a Young Leaders Award Scheme – this combines classroom learning with practical, community-based activities, and encourages young people to make a positive difference locally.
Last month students from Gateways School, Harewood, Yorkshire visited St Gemma’s Hospice, Leeds, as part of the Award Scheme. They toured the hospice and its gardens, and took part in a quiz about the charity, which has over 600 volunteers, but costs well in excess of £20k per day to run. The school has selected the Youth Trust as one of the charities it wishes to support this year, and year 8/9 pupils are participating in its Award Scheme.
The Chreda Foundation – which also focuses on young people, and particularly their spiritual development – also operates as a grant-making body, and at the end of this year it will be launching a Prize Award Scheme. The Foundation, too, is especially keen to encourage leadership qualities in young people.
Now here’s exactly the kind of activity that the forthcoming Chreda Prize will be seeking to encourage… particularly in the light of the obvious spiritual motivation.
The Barnsley Chronicle announced this week that a 17-year-old children’s work volunteer – Lauren Ogley, from Oakwell, Barnsley (UK) – has been nominated for a High Sheriff award in recognition of the amazing work she does with Christian charity the Exodus Project. Lauren, who is studying child care at Barnsley College, runs three after-school children’s clubs and a Sunday school, and apparently gave up three weeks of her college holidays to run holiday clubs.
When she was younger Lauren attended the Exodus Project (which is for 8- to 11-year-olds) as a member, and on reaching 14 she signed up as a volunteer. She says: “We talk about influences on society and try to teach them the right way and to make informed choices. I enjoy meeting the children and watching them grow up.”
The project manager, Jackie Peel says Lauren is very committed, has a “caring nature”, and mentors the children despite having “heavy caring responsibilities for her siblings at home.” Her volunteer work is also credited with vastly improving the teen’s self-confidence.
What a star!
Nominations for the awards closed on 31 January and the winners will be announced on 6 March.