An inspirational group of local teenagers taking part in the National Citizen Service, has raised £130 for Emmaus Colchester. 

 The group, known as Catch 22, held a stall in Culver Street, Colchester, selling cakes, homemade lemonade, while also running a tombola. 

 The teenagers were taking part in a NCS 4-week course aimed at young adults aged between 15-18, which takes place across the country, following GCSEs.  

 Course attendee, Claire Holt, was one of 15 teenagers taking part in her local group, which was overseen by two mentors, who ensure the wellbeing of the teenagers, while running the course. “The mentors really help to make the course enjoyable by adding their own personality,” adds Claire. 

 She explains what’s involved: “The first phase is Adventure Week, which is residential. It’s designed to help initial team bonding, while pushing people out of their comfort zones.  

 The second week is spent at a local university where individuals learn crucial life skills, such as the dangers or alcohol, and taking part in fun challenges, like the Bin Bag Fashion Challenge.  

 The final two weeks are spent planning and carrying out a social action project to benefit the community.”  

 It’s up to the group to decide what this project is and who it supports. Claire explains, “We decided that homelessness was a big issue in society and not enough is done to support it. So, we looked at all the local charities to find one to fundraise for. We decided that Emmaus did the best for the homeless in helping them find work and homes. 

 Everyone took an equal part in organising the fundraising event, with Claire taking responsibility for the tombola. Although, arranging the event didn’t go without a few challenges. “We found it hard at first to organise what we wanted to do and find roles for each member of the group. It was hard to include everyone as some people were less confident, however by the end everyone was eager to help out. 

 “From a personal perspective, I’ve developed my social, communication and organisational skills.” 

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