Friday 24th July 2015
Thanks to a group of youthful volunteers, two of Southwark’s most important open spaces received a makeover during the weekend of July 18/19. The volunteers were members of the Victory Youth Group (VYG) taking part in their annual ‘We Care! – Youth Engagement’ initiative, which helps with a wide range of environmental and caring activities in London and around the UK.
On Saturday 18 July, six volunteers from Peckham VYG reported to Carl Donnelly of Quadron Services, the company that manages Southwark’s parks, and rolled up their sleeves for an afternoon’s digging at Burgess Park. This is Southwark’s largest park, stretching from Peckham to Camberwell and Wansworth. There was certainly plenty for the VYG volunteers to do by way of clearing a large planted area to one side of the park in readiness for re-planting.
Next morning, another five-strong squad of VYG volunteers set to at Peckham Rye Wildlife Centre, weeding a pond in readiness for replanting and cleaning out a garden shed.
Paula Orr, the organiser for Peckham Rye said: “The group arrived with lots of enthusiasm and clean clothes! After having a look around the community wildlife garden everyone got down to work, either tidying the friends shed which has not been cleaned since it was put up two years ago or weeding the pond.”
The young people worked really hard until some bees gave them a bit of a fright but were admirably calm and well organised in dealing with the situation.
Paula continued: “[The young people] are a credit to your organisation [VYG], friendly, polite and hard working. Thank you so much for the opportunity for us to have this help… We hope they can join us again for future projects.”
We Care! – Youth Engagement is an annual event with twin aims. The first is to make a positive difference in the volunteers’ local communities. Secondly, VYG wants to tackle negative stereotypes of young people, particularly in London, and show that they are valuable citizens.
The way the We Care! – Youth Engagement weekend is set up, is that the UCKG HelpCentre, a charity and Pentecostal church, approaches local authorities everywhere it has established HelpCentre’s. Arrangements are made for a team of youths from the local VYG to undertake a task of benefit to the wider community.
Notes to editors
UCKG is a Christian church and registered charity that offers a range of practical support activities alongside spiritual support and comfort and welcomes all-comers. It reached the UK in 1995 and has gone from strength to strength, providing support and spreading the Christian faith. There are UCKG HelpCentre branches in England and Wales.
VYG is the UCKG HelpCentre’s youth group. Open to 15 – 25 year olds, the VYG provides family-style peer group support and helps and encourages the young to be the best that they can be.
For further information please contact the UCKG HelpCentre Press Officer via e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org or direct line 020 7686 6033