Thinking outside the box to support others

VODA volunteers packing some of the boxes.
VODA volunteers packing some of the boxes.

Volunteers have been helping ensure their peers have some essential items for moving into their own homes.

A dozen young people, aged 16 and 17, taking part in VODA’s National Citizen Service programme were tasked with planning and delivering a Social Action Project.

The team linked up with Depaul UK’s Compass project which provides individual tailored support to enable young people to gain the life skills and independence needed to access an independent tenancy.

The volunteers looked at ways to maximise their £200 budget by filling boxes with useful household essentials like toiletries and kitchen utensils. They also added personalised messages and ‘welcome home’ cards.

Jonny Legg, 21, from North Shields, said: “The project was a real success and the participants were very pleased with their results.

“It was great to see young people giving up their time to help their community and having the opportunity to find out about other people’s lives.”

Jane Premtaj, accommodation and assessment manager at Depaul UK, said: “The hard work and effort the young people made before coming to Compass was amazing.”

She added: “They had certainly spent a long time thinking about and preparing the boxes that they had made.

“On the day, the NCS volunteers spent time with Depaul staff and young people, playing games and eating together, as well as discussing the work that Depaul does and how it helps young people.

“The whole concept of a moving in box, with the essentials needed for moving in and the positive messages expressed on the outside of the box, was fantastic and something that staff would like to develop as an idea in the future – thank you.”