Teenagers from Hastings and Bexhill spent three weeks helping to fundraise and renovate an area of the Barby Keel Animal Sanctuary as part of a summer youth programme.
The group of 16 and 17 year olds have been giving back to the community, following three weeks learning new skills and meeting new friends on the National Citizen Service (NCS) youth programme.
The 16 young people from mixed backgrounds, worked together in a team to create their own social action project using skills developed on the programme. After learning about animal rights whilst in education, the group dedicated their project to the Barby Keel Animal Sanctuary, Freezeland Lane, Bexhill by fundraising, raising awareness and building storage.
Barby Keel opened her doors in 1971 to provide a home for the occasional stray, she now shares her life with over 600 animals and birds. In order to pay for food, veterinary and transportation costs, the sanctuary relies on donations, legacies, sponsorships and fundraising, including open days, every Sunday, their annual Summer Fete (this Sunday August 6) and Christmas Bazaar.
A participant of the programme Summer-Marie Phillips from Sedlescombe, says it had been a great learning curve. “I had so much fun, tried something new every day and met new people who I can’t wait to meet up with again,” she said.
“I’d definitely encourage other young people to join and give it a go.”
Team Leader, Josh Arnold, says the young people demonstrated a huge amount of passion and determination supporting their local community and making a difference. He added: “The programme isn’t just about transforming the community. The change in confidence, the new enthusiastic attitude and the improved ability to care for themselves has left parents stunned.”
NCS runs across the South East during summer and autumn holidays and costs no more than £50, which covers the entire experience from food and accommodation to activities and travel. Bursaries available on a case by case basis.