If you are a regular reader of this blog you will be aware that where I live in Port Talbot we have been creating a community garden, in memory of lives lost at the nearby steel works. Yesterday we were joined for an hour by several members of Swansea’s rugby team, the Ospreys, to shift several tons of topsoil, in order that planting could finally begin. As the work proceeded, the subject of youth volunteering came up, and how – despite the negative press that young people so often get – there are many around the country who are doing a fantastic job of supporting their local communities.
And as if further evidence was needed that youth volunteering is alive and well, here in this part of the UK, I read today about an excellent initiative organised in North Wales, over Easter, by Student Volunteering Bangor (SVB) – part of Bangor University Students’ Union. Eighteen students from the University, joined by two from Aberystwyth University, spent a week living and working at the Felin Uchaf social enterprise near Aberdaron, on the Lleyn Peninsula, where they helped erect a new timber-framed building, destined to house a library, archive and visitor centre. They also participated in land-management tasks such as willow coppicing, dry stone walling and planting, as well as traditional cooking.
For the last nine years the Felin Uchaf charity has been renovating a traditional Welsh farmhouse and its surrounding lands into a community enterprise and visitor centre, where they explore and promote green business initiatives and rural enterprises, and other ways of living in harmony with the environment.
This was the first such event organised by SVB, which was encouraged by the warm welcome the volunteers received at Felin Uchaf, and the team-working experience that the project gave the students, who came from a variety of backgrounds and cultures. It’s always great to hear such examples of how young people are helping to create a harmonious and sustainable future for society, and especially here in Wales. Well done, SVB!
And of course… many thanks to the Ospreys team members for their hard work at the garden, yesterday, despite the slightly adverse weather!
Photo credit: PA
Virgin London Marathon has announced that for every runner reaching the finish line in this Sunday’s race, £2 will be donated to a fund that has been set up for victims of Monday’s bombings in Boston. Following the tragedy at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, One Fund Boston was created on behalf of the three fatalities and more than 180 injuries; and with 35,000+ people due to take part in London this weekend, the UK donation is likely to be around £70,000. Prior to Sunday’s race – which ends at Buckingham Palace, and will take place amid high security – there will be a half-minute’s silence, and all runners will be wearing black ribbons. Many are also expected to cross the finish line with their hands over their hearts.
I don’t often do this… but I received an email today, requesting help with publicity for a charity event coming up in a few weeks, here in the UK, and I thought I’d share it with you on Generosity News, even though it’s not actually about young people. It may be that some of you will be willing to take the very simple step requested below, in order to give this nevertheless very worthy cause a bit of a boost over the next day or two.
The email, from Ed Lester, of The Abundance Index, was headed: “Let’s make something magic happen!” Here’s what it said:
I really need your help with something.
I just had a visit from my mother. Apparently my only sister is VERY cross with me.
The reason for this?
Well my sister’s one of six nurses in the UK who are taking part in a sponsored bike ride.
174 miles across The Hadrian Cycleway–some tough terrain. All of this for a worthy charity…The Rosemere Cancer Foundation.
They’ve put together a Facebook page, a website and everything.
My sister, needless to say, is deeply hurt that I haven’t been in and “liked” her FB page.
Only problem is, nobody told me she was even taking part in this event. I didn’t know till 5 minutes ago!
Once I found out, I rushed straight into my Facebook account and clicked the like button on her page.
But do you know what I found sad?
Such a noble and extreme effort these amazing nurses are making and they only have 15 likes on their page
So I figured together we can put that to rights!
Would you mind very much, going to this page on Facebook and clicking like?
I think together we can get this number way higher. Maybe even 1000 likes over the next few hours.
The great thing about this…
My sister along with everyone else in the UK is currently sleeping through the night and will be unlikely to be awake for a few hours yet.
Imagine her face lighting up (should she indeed see her FB likes counter go up to 1000 or more)!
Please pull out all the stops to help me make this happen.
The guys will be delighted, and I’ll be back in the family good books too!
It’s greatly appreciated I can assure you
Have a wonderful day!
The Abundance Index
PS If you want to further support Claire’s efforts and The Rosemere Cancer Foundation, there’s a link from their FB page to the actual website where you can find out more and even make a small donation.
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.