A group of young people from the Exeter area who devised a new system for Foodbank donations at a city centre supermarket have been rewarded for their efforts, beating 10,000 other projects to win a prestigious prize.
The group, who are aged 15-17, took part in this summer’s National Citizen Service (NCS), which is run in Exeter by the CITY Community Trust.
As part of the four-week NCS programme, participants have to run a social action project in their community. The winning group developed a scheme with Sainsburys where they put stickers on the shelves of items needed by the Foodbank, tripling the number of donations.
As a result of their idea, they were selected out of 10,000 other projects from across the country to win the Social Action Star Award, which was presented to them at a special ceremony.
The members of the group are: Jodie Smith, Holly Manning, Jess Hannemann, Nicola Rye, Callum Pardoe, Christian Jones, Matthew Turner, Izzy Clarkson, Jess Pepperell, Abdelkader Jemal Awol, Amber Broad, Izzy Gower and Rhys Johnson.
Izzy Clarkson, 17, said the group were thrilled to win the award. She added: ‘It was absolutely incredible. When we started on the project we were just looking to make a small change to even one person. The fact that we have won is just amazing.’
The group were presented with their award by actor Will Poulter at an event in Milton Keynes.
Izzy added ‘It was a fantastic atmosphere, it felt like everyone was celebrating the award, not just our team.’
Danny Harris, deputy head of community at CITY Community Trust, said: ‘We are so proud of the young people who developed this project; they threw their hearts and souls into it and are totally deserving of this award.
‘We have had over 500 teenagers taking part in NCS this year and they continue to be inspired by the programme and by each other and are making a real difference in our community.’
CITY Community Trust works in partnership with Exeter City Football Club and provides a range of activities to people of all ages, focused on health, education, wellbeing and physical activity.
This includes the NCS programme, which this year saw more than 600 young people take part, raising more than £14,000 for local charities.
The programme, which is for 15-17 year olds, costs a maximum of £50. It includes a week of adventurous activity in Cornwall, life skills at Bicton College and the planning and delivery of a social action project.
For more information about NCS visit www.citycommunitytrust.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org