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Young people thanked by police for hard work over the summer holidays in Lifestyle Challenge

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The hard work of young people from across North Yorkshire will be celebrated at a glittering ceremony next week.

North Yorkshire Police’s Lifestyle Challenge ran over the summer holidays, aiming to give young people aged between 10 and 17 a positive project to do over the long break.

Teams were invited to think of a project that they could carry out that would benefit their community. They then had until the end of September to work on their project, recording all they did in a logbook provided by the police.

Nineteen teams from across North Yorkshire and City of York signed up, working in their own time to improve their local area, raising money for local good causes and helping members of the community to get to know each other.

In total 65 young people took part, supported by 23 adult advisors. All together, they worked for more than 1,450 hours – the equivalent of over 60 days – and raised more than £1,500.

They will receive their awards at a ceremony at York Racecourse on Wednesday 13 November, compèred by Minster FM.

Teams were from: Eastfield, Harrogate, Knaresborough, Norton, Pickering, Robin Hood’s Bay, Scarborough, Selby, Stokesley, Whitby and York.

This year Lifestyle included seven sponsored challenges:

  • Suzanne Asquith – Dream Come True Challenge
  • North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner – Community Safety Challenge
  • The Shepherd Group – Conservation Challenge
  • Eboracum – Security Challenge
  • Energi – Be Fit, Be Healthy Challenge
  • CNG Ltd – Energy ‘Sustainability’ Challenge
  • North Yorkshire Police – Harm Reduction Challenge

This year the sponsors included North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, the Shepherd Group, Eboracum, Energi Leisure, CNG Ltd, York Racecourse and Minster FM.

The sponsors will be attending the award ceremony and have the opportunity to meet the young team members when presenting them with their award.

The top prize will be an activity adventure holiday for the school holidays early next year.

Sergeant Neil Northend, from North Yorkshire Police’s Partnership Hub, said: “The fantastic work these young people have done over the summer really demonstrates the way our Lifestyle Challenge can help them and their community.

“It is truly inspirational to see all these young people getting involved by carrying out all sorts of projects which help benefit local residents, the community and the environment we live in.

“I would like to thank all those who took part in the challenge this year, as well as our sponsors for their continued support, and hope everyone enjoys the awards ceremony on 13 November.”

Here are some of the highlights of the Lifestyle 2019 teams:

Community Servicemen – York

Their project was a coffee morning getting everybody socialising and talking to each other to raise money for the World Wildlife Foundation. They visited every house in their village, inviting them to the coffee morning.

They collected tombola prizes and also wrote to the WWF. At the coffee morning they held a tombola and about 20-25 people turned up. They had lots of support with cakes, and raised £404 for WWF which was gratefully received.

This was a community day where everyone got to socialise and enjoyed themselves. They received a certificate from the WWF saying thank you. They learned how to talk to people they don’t know well.

Selby Young Swans – Selby

They wanted to help and support local people who are homeless and isolated, with bake sales and friendship cafes to raise funds and provide food by supporting the Salvation Army.

They tried out recipes for cakes and soup, sandwiches and applied to the ‘Big Local’ organisation for a community grant to cover the costs. During the two events they talked, had a drink, ate and joined in a quiz and bingo they put on with those attending.

On 3 September they met staff and visitors at the Salvation Army weekly lunch, using the money collected to pay for lunch for those attending. They talked with some of the people to find out why they had found themselves homeless.

City Superheroes – York

They wanted to help their local community, making the area a better place to live, helping children especially. They raised money for St Leonard’s Hospice, a local charity which is very close to their hearts.

They carried out a litter pick where there was a lot of litter and filled a bag full of rubbish, plus cut down weeds and unwanted plants in their local cemetery. They filled three big builders’ bags, which made a massive impact. The local volunteers were very grateful as it was one less job for them.

Every Wednesday of the summer holidays they helped out at the Lidgett Grove Community Café in the mornings, helping look after the children at a craft table and playing with them. They cleaned tables, served drinks and food.

On 1 September they organised a jumble sale and cake stall held at Sovereign Park. They had lots of customers and all the money raised has been sent to St Leonard’s Hospice.

They learned that it is not easy task to make the community a better place, but with a bit of hard work and motivation we can take the first steps to do this and it is actually very fun.

We Fight Allergies – Norton, Ryedale

They wanted to raise awareness of allergies in young children by sending letters to playgroups and coffee shops, and sending recipes of healthy and allergy friendly snacks to them as well. They have siblings who have allergies.

They researched this at the local library. By sending sent letters to playgroups and using social media they explained what they were doing. They launched social media accounts to raise awareness: ‘We Fight Allergies’ on Facebook and Twitter. They posted on the playgroups’ Facebook pages to create conversation. They wrote to supermarkets to see if they would donate fruit to playgroups – none donated but some of them replied.

They did a radio interview with Yorkshire Coast Radio, sharing useful links on Facebook – such as posts from the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation and Allergy UK which helps promote what they do. They also did a short film for ‘That’s TV North Yorkshire’ to raise awareness which has been watched hundreds of times. Through their work with playgroups they have made a difference as they are now conscious about providing food which are non-allergenic, receiving a lot of positive feedback. They intend to continue to raise awareness in the future. They learned more about allergies and how important raising awareness is. Even though they are only 11 years old, they can make a difference. They didn’t realise it would be this big!

Team West – Eastfield, Scarborough

The team members moved to Eastfield a year ago due to family circumstances and residents have shown them nothing but love and support, so they wanted to help pay the community back by keeping Eastfield tidy and helping the residents.

They cleaning around ‘The Dell’, removing rubbish from under the bushes up and down the hills, where some younger children joined in – filling two large bin bags. They cleaned East and West Way, picking up three bags of litter and also helped a local lady clean her garden because she was poorly. They were congratulated by the local councillor and they became involved with a local residents group.

Beyond Housing came to visit the team at their home as they had heard about their work in the community and said how it was a positive and inspirational achievement. They promoted their work in the Lifestyle t-shirts on their social media page, which reaches out to residents in the North East, and provided more bins to collect any further litter.

At Eastfield Community Fair they ran the ‘hook a duck’ stall and helped at the raffle stall run by their father. This was a successful community event attended the Deputy Mayoress and local councillors. They received over 130 messages of support and positive comments and 260 likes. They learned how to work together and work in a team with the residents of Eastfield.

Dream Team – Pickering

Their project is about helping their environment, including beach cleans and building animal homes. They designed a poster advertising for people to carry out a beach clean on 10 August at South Bay, Scarborough, which they distributed in local shops and restaurants, and on Facebook too.

On 4 August they went to North Bay and did a litter pick, with lots of people at the beach on a hot day, people congratulating them on their work. They then went on to South Bay beach the same day where there was more litter. On 10 August the advertised beach clean went ahead where people turned up and lots of litter was collected. This was posted on the local beach Facebook page where they had positive feedback. In August they built an animal home in the local woods and cleared litter, removing beer cans etc. They then did another beach clean in late August in South Bay, collecting four large bags of rubbish. They realised that if this rubbish had not been collected, it would have ended up in the sea.

They learned how well four people could work together and organise a whole summer full of activities that would help the community and how much people dedicate time to projects and help the community.

Whitby 1 – Whitby

Their project was to hold a community fun event bringing the community together, focusing on having fun whilst raising money for charity by making craft, cakes, holding a tombola and teddy tombola and a preloved sale of clothes, books and toys. They raised money for cancer research and ‘Whish’ (Whitby Hidden Impairments Support and Help).

They talked about their own communities, decided a set of rules whilst working together. For the tombola on 27 August they made bracelets, decorated stones, pictures frames, magnets and ‘pop poms’ to sell. They visited a fire station, finding out what firefighters do at community events.

They sold the cakes and crafts they made at the fundraiser, plus any toys and books left over were donated to the two charities and the cakes to the local care home for the elderly. The money raised was handed over to Whish, where some of the team members access their activities. This is why it was one of their chosen charities, as some of the team members have ADHD, Asperger’s, selective mutism, dyspraxia and hearing impairments. The other half of the money was donated to cancer research.

The team learned that being part of a team is important, that they all have skills, and that we are all unique. Community, family and friends mean so much.

Civitas – Pickering

They wanted to help their community by litter picking around the parks and in town and raising money for two charities – SASH (Safe and Sound Homes) and St Leonard’s Hospice.

They met and carried out litter picking, cleaning up an alleyway, cleaning the park, Pickering town centre and the Bay Horse beer garden, cleaning up leaves etc. They then brought the litter back to a team member’s house to recycle all the rubbish. They created posters for a tombola and bake sale, planned for the 30 August to raise money for the charities, asking local businesses to display their posters. They further litter picked in the town and the local stream/beck where they found a discarded scooter which they dropped off at the police station. The parent of one of the members has a Facebook page where they received amazing comments.

They held the tombola at a local supermarket after spending hours baking. They raised £165.50 for each charity. They ended up on the St Leonard’s charity Twitter account, gaining lots of praise for the things they had done in the local community. On 7 September they did another tombola at the local car boot sale selling cakes. They received letters of thanks from both SASH and St Leonard’s Hospice for the money raised.

They have learned how important it is to be a part of a close community and also learned that doing a little helps a lot. They have loved doing this challenge.

Holiday Helpers – Pickering

They wanted to help SASH (Safe and Sound Homes) preventing young homelessness – just being kind and helping people.

They weeded and tidied up a garden, they did a litter pick at Newbridge park and bike track, and did weeding in the market place where they were praised by local shops owners for their work. They did home baking for a cake stall at the Pickering car boot stall, raising money for a homeless charity for 16-25 year olds by using a collection bucket. Thy enjoyed this and found out information from some of their customers, one of whom was brought up in a children’s home. They made a banner which went on the front of the table.

They then carried out a free car wash at one of their elderly neighbours, washing four cars, and were given juice and biscuits afterwards. They then did a litter pick in their own street with donated litter grabbers. Again they helped an elderly neighbour who has difficulty walking and went to the shops for them. The best day they enjoyed was hearing about other people’s stories. They learned to always be kind and helpful, and to share. They learned something new every day.

The Bedoncey Girls – Robin Hood’s Bay

They wanted to help Sleights football club to buy a defibrillator and also wanted to help InterActive provide toys for Fit Tots, which helps local special needs toddlers and babies, and their parents/carers, to socialise.

Their first challenge was they all had different holidays to work round. They sold items at a stall at a car boot. They decorated jars full of sweets to sell to raise money. They attended a gala at Sleights football club where they sold the jars/cones of sweets. The money they donated to InterActive and the football club received letters of thanks. Their project was very last-minute due to holidays.

They enjoyed working together and it felt good to help make a difference.

On The Tools – Stokesley

Their project was to renovate the school sanctuary to allow the children to be able to learn about wildlife in a safe environment.

They cut back the overgrown grass with a strimmer and lawnmower. They then removed all the silt and sludge from the bottom of the pond, along with all the weeds surrounding it. After finishing cleaning the pond, they arranged the rocks on the outside of the pond.  When finished, they power-washed the rocks and pruned the hedge and bushes, finding a path that leads round the pond. They then tidied up raised beds, which can be used for planting vegetables and on doing so they found a patio area which can be used by the children.

After cleaning the paths, they emptied the shed in the corner of the garden, strimming the hedge back which leads to the caretakers building. They then had a final tidy up. Many of the staff were over the moon, as they and children could now enjoy the garden.

They learned that hard work pays off, developed their communication skills and learned how to use various new tools.

Mackenzie Mayhem – Harrogate

Their project was about creating a stronger community, making it cleaner and nicer to live in and making people happier, by reducing loneliness.

In July the team went to a Dementia Forward coffee morning. They raised money on their birthdays and instead of presents, asked everyone to give them money, raising £100 for the Dementia Hub. Whilst there they spoke with people who had mild dementia and chatted with them, talking about the Lifestyle project. They had so much fun that day and everyone was so nice.

They cleaned local road signs, being praised by residents, and helped to deliver leaflets for a cake sale which was in the village hall, where they helped. They tidied up a neighbour’s garden and the community garden in their village, removing weeds, brushing up debris and litter picking.

On 30 August, the Cycling Paralympics Race was coming past their door, so they arranged for the local pub to put up bunting, made posters to stick up round the village and leafletted houses. On the day, people took part and neighbours came out and gave drinks, meeting other people in the village.

On one weekend, they made ‘slow down’ signs for the village, with a skeleton holding the sign, and people did slow down. They also carried out a litter picking expedition in the village and got other people to help, collecting six bin bags of litter.

They are going to continue doing the Lifestyle project throughout the year, having a Christmas community party at their house and a fitness walk, raising money and making a garden of rest/calm in the church.

They learned to make change in their community.  Someone has to be brave enough to take the first step.

Tidy Raiders – Selby

Their project was picking up rubbish in Selby and area regularly over the holiday period, focusing mostly on plastic to reuse the plastic for creating things.

They cleaned where they lived, playgrounds and fields, deciding who was collecting what type of litter (plastic, paper, metal, glass).

Whilst collecting litter, a lady took some pictures of them to send to the council, because she was so proud of them. They collected four bags of litter, including lots of big items. They took the litter away to get recycled. They continued this work around the area in late July, collecting more bags of rubbish recycling everything they collected.

On 2 August they started to make a sculpture out of plastic bottles, making a ‘tree’ sculpture. They continued to add to the sculpture. They then painted the sculpture, sticking on leaves to make it look realistic. They also used some of the materials for the photo album book, which has photos and information of their work day by day.

They have had lots of positive comments from the community, posting pictures on Facebook and the local people helped motivate them by giving them ice lollies. They made the area a lot cleaner and safer. They noticed there were not enough litter bins around.

They have learned about the environment and how important it is to look after it. We all need to know how to dispose of waste. They also learned that you don’t have to play to have fun and have a great time.

P Town Massive – Pickering

Their project was to redesign graffiti on a wall at their local play area, Hawthorn Lane Park, to modernise the play area for the local community to use.

They needed to get permission from the local town council. They presented their ideas for the wall using handouts and answering questions around who will be supervising the painting, and along with the local policing team.

They met at the youth group, developing the artwork and looking at positive messages, such as recycling to prevent litter. They came up with a hashtag #savetheturtles.

They met at Hawthorn Park and had to paint the wall white first. They discussed safety around using the paint cans and wearing masks, with Jed the graffiti artist. After the wall was finished, they received praise from Jed and also the town councillor and received positive comments on Facebook.

The town council also said they could paint the wall on the other side with their design, which shows the trust they had gained. It helped improve local residents’ negative perceptions of these young people, having such a positive outcome. They learned how to work together as a team.

Knaresborough SAS (Spread a Smile) – Knaresborough

They wanted to spread a smile to the elderly through their music. They realised that living in a care home could be lonely, so they wanted to make them happy and give them a day to remember.

In school they learned how music is proven to increase levels of dopamine, a chemical in the brain that makes you feel happy. They decided to go into some elderly care homes in the local area, play some of their music, brighten their day and bake some cakes for afterwards.

They sent emails to a number of care homes. One of the team plays the saxophone, one of them the guitar and another plays both the saxophone and violin. They practised songs as they were going to be playing at Hillview Manor and The Cuttings Care Homes.

They played music for 45 minutes, then gave out the cakes and chatted to the residents for another 45 minutes. For this, they did feedback sheets to see if they had made them smile. 100% of residents scored them 4 or 5 out of 5 and wrote lovely comments thanking them.

In total they played to around 70 elderly people, plus the care home staff. They were asked to go back again, where this time the residents donated money, which went towards the charities. The three girls also stayed and played bingo with the residents. They received cards of thanks and had a press article in the local paper. They raised £50 for Dementia Forward and £26 for the British Heart Foundation.

They learned many skills, such as confidence and communication skills. They also learned how to book a venue, plan their event and engage an audience.

KaLiBe – York

They wanted to help bring holiday happiness to those who need it most, by handing out free goodie bags to brighten up holidays of less fortunate children who are dependent on the food bank.

They contacted the food bank who liked the idea of goodie bags. They drafted a letter for shops explaining the project and asking for donations and advertising The Trussell Trust.

They went to Morrison’s and the Manager provided £20 worth of gift vouchers to support the project. They made a wish list on Amazon of the items they would like to put in the ‘goodie’ bags.

They used the £20 to buy toothpaste and sweets to put in the bags. They approached Symbiosis and they gave £20 in cash, and they bought tooth brushes and toothpaste from the internet.

They wanted to make 90 bags in total, so encouraged friends and family to donate items. They made up the goodie bags and wrote to their MP to come to the Trussell Trust food bank when they dropped off the donations.

In September they met their MP at the Trussell Trust, and all the staff at the food bank were very nice and grateful. They had a Q&A session with the MP. They sent a thank you letter to Morrisons.

Nidderdale Children’s Resource Centre – Killinghall, Harrogate

They wanted to save the planet and keep Killinghall safe by carrying out activities to help nature and local wildlife.

The theme of their summer holidays at Nidderdale Children’s Resource Centre was ‘Save the Planet.’ The resource centre provides valuable resources and support for children with physical and learning disabilities.

They planted flowers and decorated plant pots to put them in. They decided to take and donate the pots to a local nursing home.

They did litter picking during a clean-up of Killinghall, and filled over three bin bags of litter. They made a sign using stones to encourage people to slow down when driving through the village near a nursing home, also a colourful ‘slow down’ banner for outside the resource centre. They also made suet balls for the birds to help them through the winter, and made bird houses, a safe space for the chicks and a warm place for the winter. By recycling plastic bottles they made bird feeders.

They finished their project by visiting the nursing home and taking all the things they had made.

They were thanked by people walking past for doing the litter picking and delivering the goodies to the nursing home. The residents said they were looking forward to all the animals they would attract.

They learned different ways to look after their environment and to help local people to do the same.  They also learned about road safety.

Mount Girls – York

They wanted to make their community aware of the changes our planet faces.

They raised £200 for a disability bike for a 13-year-old with autism, epilepsy and other needs. They raised £80 and purchased Christmas and Halloween crafts for York inspirational kids. Two of them cut their hair and donated it to the Little Princess Trust, plus held a community picnic for York inspirational kids and invited other members of the community.

For the Conservation Challenge they designed posters and wrote to local shops to raise awareness, asking for donations. They arranged a zero waste picnic for the community, which Tesco donated £20 for, and they used the money to buy tubs to put the food in – trying to buy food which wasn’t wrapped in plastic.

They shared food and talked to the families about what they were doing to help the environment. They held a balloon draw to raise money with donated prizes from local people and businesses. The prizes included panto tickets, a spa day and a tour of the Houses of Parliament, vouchers and prosecco.

They all wrote, illustrated and published a book encouraging 5-7 year olds to cut down their single plastic waste, which was made from a recycled sketch book for illustrations called ‘Help Save the Turtles’.

They donated one book to each library in York and went into the library at Acomb Explore Library to read their book to 5-7 year olds, the book being sold online from Amazon. They also had publicity in the York Press about what they had done, plus a TV interview. The money raised went towards the disability bike and crafts.

They received lots of publicity via Facebook and social media. They learned about children with disabilities and how to be inclusive and supportive.

Earth’s Army – Scarborough

They are passionate about reducing single use plastic, believe the best way to do this is by educating the younger generation, by hosting activity days and using social media.

They arranged and held two awareness raising days for primary school children at East Ayton Library and at Derwent Valley Bridge Community Library. They researched different activities to take place on these awareness days, inviting the children’s university Scarborough, reps from environmental groups such as Surfers Against Sewage, North Yorkshire Rotters and Sea Life marketing officer. At the awareness events, North Yorkshire Rotters and the Sea Life Centre came and spoke. The leftover food from the awareness days was donated to the local food bank and the Rainbow Centre Scarborough.

They created posters and a Twitter account. They entered a design competition with Big Local Scarborough to create a design for a recycling bin. They created a team mascot for Earth’s Army, ‘Elder’, and showed it to the public and the local council. The council were so impressed that they used their design on their environmental initiatives. They emailed Sainsbury’s to ask what they do to reduce plastic packaging and other organisations to arrange activities.

They visited a turtle sanctuary whilst on holiday in Malta, called Nature Trust Malta, and they did an interview with them on their Twitter page, talking about how turtles and other animals have been injured by plastic waste. They also found out about sea bins which collect floating debris.

With Surfers against Sewage they carried out a beach clean which took place in August with other children. On one of the team’s birthday, instead of a fun day out, they chose to do a litter pick in Forge Valley. On 8 September, one team member spent the day promoting Earth’s Army, explaining ‘Finn the Fish’ to people in South Bay and also put discarded plastic into the imitation fish to demonstrate what can end up in sea animals. They also promoted the use of the sea bins in Malta and asked if a scheme could be set up locally.

On returning from holiday, they did an interview with Yorkshire Coast Radio which aired in late August. They learned a great deal about plastic pollution in order to inform others. They learned how important it is to persevere if you believe in something.

Last modified: November 7, 2019