Seven South Lakes teenagers raised more than £1,800 for a Kendal mental health charity by baking and selling cakes as part of a summer National Citizen Service scheme.
The group of 16 and 17-year-olds, Tommy Wheatley, Matthew Fell, Shay MacLennan, Hannah Elvey, and Sophie Tyers, all from Kendal, plus team leader Harry Pye, from Cartmel, and Lauren Atkin, from Arnside, raised the money through a series of cake sales in Kendal and at a fundraising fair in Lancaster’s Williamson Park. It also included £500 donated by Harry’s family in memory of his late father Lee.
The money contributed towards the charity’s 2019 Crowdfunder appeal, which raised more than £36,000 to help fill a funding gap at the Low Sizergh-based organic fruit and veg farm.
NCS is a government-funded personal development programme which encourages 15 to 17-year-olds to challenge themselves, develop new skills and independence, and take part in social action.
The scheme takes place in the summer after GCSEs, and participating youngsters undertake a one-week Outward Bound course, spend a week at a university campus, a week at a local college planning their social action project, then a week or more carrying out their project.
The group supporting Growing Well didn’t all know each other beforehand and came together from Queen Katherine sixth form, Kendal College, Dallam sixth form, and Lancaster and Morecambe College. Some had personal connections that made them choose Growing Well.
Team leader Harry said: “The NCS scheme has motivated us to give something back to the community, and we’ve made new friends.”
Shay MacLennan said: “I’d definitely recommend it, I’ve learned a lot from it and we’ve had lots of new experiences.”
South Lakes NCS area co-ordinator Lauren Jackson said the group had “captured the essence of social action”.
“Right from the first presentation they delivered it was clear they had researched and worked well as a team and this has been reflected in the success of their social action project.”
Growing Well manager Mary Houston thanked the team for their amazing contribution, which represented 5% of the charity’s £36,000 Crowdfunder total.
“It’s so heartening to see more and more in our community raising money for Growing Well – and even more heartening to see how many young people are now wanting to engage in social action for good causes. The NCS is a wonderful way of encouraging and supporting this.”
Lauren Jackson who works for Inspira, which runs the local NCS project, will be visiting local schools in coming months promoting the summer 2020 scheme.
“It looks fantastic on CVs, good on your personal statement for university, and builds confidence, self-esteem and communication skills,” she said.