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!
On the 6th of March 2013 the Mid Glamorgan High Sheriff Awards took place at Sony UK Technology Centre, Pencoed Technology Park, recognising young people (under 21s) from Bridgend, Rhondda Cynon Taff and Merthyr Tydfil who, individually or as part of a group, have “gone above and beyond to support a local initiative, giving their time and commitment to a community project”. The awards were presented by the High Sheriff of Mid Glamorgan Mrs Ann Jenkins. Speaker for the occasion was Mrs Jayne James, former newsreader and local businesswoman. The Assistant Chief Constable of South Wales, Julian Kirby, was also present. Winners were presented with cash prizes.
L-R: High Sheriff, Ann Jenkins; overall winner, Savannah Foley; celebrity speaker, Jayne James
Star of the event was 18-year-old Savannah Foley, from Merthyr Tydfil, who not only won first prize in the individual awards, but was also named overall winner, for which she received a cup. Savannah has been volunteering with 3G’s Development Trust (a community regeneration organisation) for 6 years. In the last three years she has become one of the Trust’s main fundraisers, helping to raise £40,000, which has resulted in more than 80 youngsters travelling to Disneyland, where they performed shows scripted by her. She also helps with the choir, and with other activities such as film making, tree planting and litter picks.
Second prize in the individual awards was shared by Keiran Sawdon, from Tondu, and an unnamed female volunteer from Noddfa Youth Club. The latter so enjoyed her initial 6-week voluntary session with the Club that she subsequently gave up much of her spare time while studying for AS/A2 Levels, volunteering at the Club’s Sexual Health Clinic. Keiran is a Cabinet member with Bridgend Youth Council, and a “Funky Dragon” member – representing the County on a national basis, as well as participating in the Sustainable Development and Climate Change section. He does all of this while acting as a carer for a close relative.
In the group awards first place went to Rhyd Boys 4 Life, from Rhydyfelin. Set up just over a year ago, the group works with local PCSOs, Newydd Housing, Detached Youth Workers, the Youth Offending Services and other agencies. Notable projects that it has carried out, to date, are:
- ‘The Emotion behind the Commotion’ – A workshop designed to raise awareness of how anti-social behaviour can affect vulnerable people in the community;
- ‘Safety in the Community’ – A contract to help keep an area safe… signed and adhered to by all participants;
- ‘Youth Participation’ – An activity plan developed from things the boys would like to do in both their short- and long-term futures.
- The Music and Arts Group was set up to promote Arts and Media in Merthyr Tydfil. Meeting up to eight times a week, it runs a variety of activities, including singing, dancing, performing musicals and drama. It is based at Bishop Hedley School, and performs regularly for local groups and charities. Its efforts to engage with hard-to-reach young people were recognised in 2010 with a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
- The Youth Forum was established in 2012 by seven teenagers, concerned about a lack of facilities in their community and the tendency for young people to be labelled “troublemakers”. They set up a youth forum and youth council, and created a youth club, with weekly events at a local church. The result is said to have been “a marked improvement in the relationship between the residents of Trallwng and a drastic reduction in the amount of anti-social incidents reported by local residents”.
Also ‘highly commended’ in the group awards section was the Pencoed Neighbour Hoodies. This group – set up under the community safety initiative – represents the views and opinions of the area’s young people at Town Council meetings.
In Friday’s post I mentioned the fundraising efforts of British boy band One Direction on behalf of Red Nose Day, following their recent trip to Accra, Ghana. Now they have produced two commercials for the Comic Relief fundraiser. In these they explain emotionally how babies they saw dying from malaria in Africa could have been spared suffering by means of vaccinations costing just £5 each. The first clip stars Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson: Harry Styles and Liam Payne star in the second.
These guys seem to genuinely care!
An exciting charity event is taking place in Northampton, UK, this afternoon… actually, in less than an hour from now. Events Management BA students from the University have arranged a Zumba Marathon, in aid of Adoption UK… a charity that “helps to make adoptions work and promotes loving and supportive relationships between children and their adoptive families.”
The Charity Zumbathon will be taking place at the Benham Sports Arena, from 1pm – 4pm, and is open to staff, students, and the public. All proceeds will go to the charity, and participants are being invited to do as much or as little as they want… but simply to HAVE FUN!
On several occasions in the past this blog has featured the generosity of the Brit Awards ‘Global Success Award’ winners One Direction (in particular, Harry Styles). The boy band’s latest exploit concerns Red Nose Day – a charity initiative its members have been supporting since their recent visit to Ghana. The poverty there made a big impression on the lads, and as can be seen above, Harry has now been inspired to bake cupcakes in honour of the fundraising event, which will take place on Friday the 15th of March 2013, with the theme of ‘do something funny for money’.