Students’ rally and Olympic challenge for charity in Hastings

The students trying to tackle domestic violence with a rally and Olympic challenge in Hastings as part of their National Citizen Service course SUS-160908-162527001
The students trying to tackle domestic violence with a rally and Olympic challenge in Hastings as part of their National Citizen Service course SUS-160908-162527001

Secondary school students will be holding a rally in Hastings town centre and completing a 24-hour ‘Olympic challenge’ to support domestic violence charities.

The group of pupils from schools across the area will be raising money and awareness for Refuge and the White Ribbon Campaign as part of a summer course with a rally on Saturday (August 13).

Before completing a series of challenges and activities in Alexandra Park on Monday and Tuesday for their National Citizen Service (NCS) programme.

St Richard’s Catholic College student Josh Tayao said everyone felt passionately about stopping domestic abuse and helping Refuge due to its dire situation.

“We came to a group decision to back Refuge after we found out that if they don’t raise a certain amount of money they would shut down, so we thought let’s help them,” he said.

The 15 students have come together after volunteering in the government-funded programme through their schools, which lasts four weeks, and they are one group out of many across the country.

The first two weeks were spent learning life skills and completing teamwork challenges, including visiting a university to learn about living away from home.

The culmination of the scheme is about social action so the group of 15 to 17-year-olds decided to support Refuge by holding a rally in the town centre to raise awareness and the Olympic challenge to fundraise.

Having completed Domestic Abuse Basic Awareness Training, the pupils will be giving out advice and spreading the word about domestic violence and the work Refuge does from 10am to 4pm.

The Olympic challenge will see the pupils put through their paces in a variety of courses including cycling and an hour’s silence to symbolise those victims who do not speak out.

Students will be put into two teams and will do stints on each course over two six-hour sessions, starting at 10am, all to raise money for Refuge.

Ark Helenswood Academy student Huda Caglayan, from Hastings, said it has been really good making new friends and learning new skills.

Hastings and Rye MP Amber Rudd will be visiting the students on Friday to show her support for the programme which has been running since 2012.

“This government flagship programme enables young people not only to take part in outdoor activities and meet new people but also to give something back to their communities, so I am delighted to once again be able to support National Citizen Service this summer,” she said.

The group are asking for monetary donations and things like bottles, nappies, and other children’s items to give to the Hastings Refuge centre.

For more information, visit their JustGiving page or their Facebook page.

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