Over £200 raised for Real Change Rochdale by NCS youngsters

Date published: 07 September 2019

National Citizen Service (NCS) activists presented over £200 to Real Change Rochdale on Friday 16 August 2019 at Champness Hall Soup Kitchen.

Joined by local charities involved with Real Change, a group of youngsters who took part in the NCS campaign over the six-week school holidays presented their total funds raised for the local community initiative whilst celebrating youth engagement in local issues as part of the NCS Campaign Celebration Day.

‘Real Change Rochdale’ is a Rochdale initiative linked with Manchester’s ‘The Big Change’. It is a fund for Rochdale that pays for items that local people need to end and prevent homelessness.

It is run by a series of local charities and community groups including The Bond Board, The Sanctuary Trust, Angies Angels and Action Together and is supported by MP Tony Lloyd, Rochdale Council manager of homelessness Ian Jolly, Councillor Linda Robinson and was even visited by the Mayor of Manchester, Andy Burnham in July this year.

NCS is a voluntary personal and social development programme for ages 15 – 17 across England, designed to introduce young people to new experiences and develop their skills.

Most recently, Real Change has teamed up with the National Citizen Service to engage youth in the initiative. Over 2 weeks, NCS students met the charities involved in Real Change, met volunteers and service users and then planned and executed their own campaign on behalf of the initiative.

At the finale event on 16 August, they delivered the results of the campaign which had raised over £200 for the cause.

Tom Starkey, Volunteer Project Coordinator for The Bond Board homelessness charity involved with Real Change, said: “This money is vital for local services to have a shared pot of money to deliver change.

“The advantages to sharing this pot mean more charities have access to money to ensure borough wide, instantly accessible money to be able to help people instantly, preventing homelessness and vulnerability.”

The youths also delivered a presentation on what they had learnt whilst raising awareness for homelessness issues.

Tom added: “Many said they were shocked by the facts and extent of homelessness, especially in their local community of Rochdale. Being able to give back on these issues was something which was now important to them.

“Having the next generation involved in community initiatives has been a win win for both the charities and young people, and hopefully it leads the way for more young people to become aware and involved in local issues and campaigns.

Real Change are holding their next meeting on Monday 9 September at Champness Hall for anyone who is interested in getting involved:

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