Friday 24th July 2015
For this year’s We Care! – Youth Engagement event, 11 young people from the Manchester branch of the Victory Youth Group (VYG) helped the council’s parks department with essential tree work at Platt Fields park on Saturday 18 July.
As one of Manchester’s principal parks, Platt Fields provides leisure space for a densely populated and diverse inner city area, and so it presented the VYG with an ideal opportunity to make a difference in their local community, which is the key aim of We Care!
The VYG volunteers – aged from 15 to 24 – were tasked with helping to cut back seven overgrown trees on the park’s Lime Walk. Platts Fields’ managers are looking to locate a mobile office on Lime Walk, which is central to the park, as the present main office is at one end of a park. But for this to be done, some tree growth had to be removed to make space.
Supervising the work on site, John Evans from the parks department said that he enjoyed the time he spent with the group. In a follow up phone call John added that he had really appreciated the help and mention how the site manager, Andy Mcleary, had been impressed with the progress made. He found the youths friendly and polite, and even asked if the VYG could come back some time soon to give some more help around the park.
Bruna Alves, one of the VYG volunteers reported that she, too, had really enjoyed the work, which was something entirely new for her. Overall it was a great experience for the VYG and a chance for them to work as a team. They were happy to help the local community and see the difference their hard work made to the park.
The way We Care! – Youth Engagement is set up, is that the UCKG, a charity and Pentecostal church, approaches local authorities everywhere it has established HelpCentres. Arrangements are made for teams of youths from its local VYG branches to undertake tasks of benefit to the wider community, with the joint aims of making a positive difference and combatting negative stereotypes of young people.
Kim Powell the UCKG HelpCentre’s Community Outreach Coordinator said: “Youths are often blamed for causing trouble and disturbances. Yet, as we know in the VYG, many young people are really keen to make a positive impact in their local communities. We hope this community outreach initiative will help to encourage positive attitudes toward young people.”
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.