We are Team Tuala! We took part in NCS (National Citizen Service) with Inspira and as a group of young people, we wanted to help and engage with our community, bettering the people and spaces around us. Collectively, we decided that we wanted to do something physical and make a direct difference to a cause so that we could physically see the benefit we made.
We began with a focus of volunteering at a care home. Our intention was to speak to the residents and to keep them company by playing games and making them tea and coffee. We brainstormed ideas to refurbish potential outdoor spaces so that the residents would have a nice environment to enjoy the upcoming hot weather. We would de-weed the gardens, plant flowers and paint benches bright colours to create a colourful and uplifting space.
To put this plan into action, we began to ring local care homes to see if this would be something they would be interested in allowing us to do. Unfortunately, complications began to arise regarding COVID regulations and visitor rules, meaning as a result we had to search for a Plan B, so we contacted a nearby hostel called Waterstreet which focuses on housing women and families and keeping them safe in difficult times. As a group, there was no hesitation in deciding that this was what we wanted to do. It ended up being easy to arrange as one of our team members (our communicator) phoned the hostel and with a passionate and concise email, they agreed.
With our social action plan confirmed, we began to search for donations. Thankfully we came across some very generous companies which donated our supplies for renovating Waterstreet’s outdoor space. Since we were now volunteering at the hostel, we were open to a wider range of donations rather than just garden equipment, and Toys n tech, Celebrations, Boots, Bodycare and WHSmith were happy to donate. Secondly, Wickes, Johnstones and Carlilse College very kindly provided all our equipment for refurbishing the gardens.
Commencing on Thursday morning 14/07/2022, Team Tuala, our group of 10 young people, walked to the Hostel and began refurbishing the garden. Five of us painted benches white with colourful patterns, we painted the arch cream and the shed red. Another group of us de-weeded all the paths and planted lots of flowers in a quaint garden patch beside the bench. Overall, the garden was completely transformed from looking tired and overlooked into a garden of colour and beauty.
One exhausting day’s work was worth it in the end, to see a direct difference that bettered a well-deserving community of people, our group was filled with an overwhelming and rewarding sense of satisfaction. Throughout the day, because we all shared one common goal, we developed our communication, listening, confidence and teamwork. As a team, we are more than thankful for this opportunity to help, and we believe that every young person should get involved.
You can follow Team Tuala on Instagram at @teamtualancs to see our project come to life.