HELPFUL teenage volunteers have been digging in with a garden project at an elderly care home in east Leeds.
A group of green-fingered youngsters from across the city have been planting, weeding, raking and painting to revamp the outdoor space at Fairview Nursing Home in Seacroft.
The team of 16 and 17-year-olds have been working on the project all week as part of the National Citizen Service (NCS) 360 programme – a Government-funded, voluntary summer scheme for teenagers.
Carly Halford, team facilitator for NCS, said: “The kids get to decide who they want to help and this year they all really wanted to help older people and the decision was unanimous.
“They called around old people’s homes in Leeds to see what help was needed and were told the garden needed doing.
“So they spent £200 of funding on tools, paint and paintbrushes.
“They have realised that they do have a place in the community and that volunteering is a good action plan.
“They particularly liked that they have changed the perceptions of young people in the local community and it’s great to see them all achieving their goals.
“The home is for older people with dementia so they also underwent some training to understand what dementia is and the effects it has.
“It made them more aware of dementia and Alzheimers and they were able to have conversations with some of the residents.
“They have all been really positive about it and enjoyed hearing stories from the residents. One of them was in the RAF when he was younger, which they loved hearing about.”
The home on Brooklands Avenue cares for 47 residents.
Deputy manager Donna Phelan said: “It means a lot for the residents. It enhances their lives.
“They have been watching the volunteers working and have enjoyed having them here.”
She added: “They have done really well.”