Animal sanctuary benefits from help of young people

Nicole Parkinson-Kelly with the shetland pony
Nicole Parkinson-Kelly with the shetland pony

A local girl who recently took part in a social action day at Crosskennan Lane Animal Sanctuary, is hoping she will encourage other young people to sign up for the National Citizen Service’s Summer Programme.

Nicole Parkinson-Kelly along with 25 other young people from across Northern Ireland gave up Saturday, March 5, to help rejuvenate the Antrim sanctuary following recent floods and help in the care of the animals.

“We worked tirelessly to try and bring the sanctuary back to it’s original perfection and to highlight the amazing work of the people who have dedicated their lives to the working and running of the sanctuary,” she said.

“We were split up into teams to work on different aspects of the sanctuary including painting fences, mucking out horses’ stables and grooming dogs and ponies.”

During the day Nicole was tasked to work with three hyperactive Doberman puppies and a young Shetland pony named Oliver. She also worked with the cats and befriended a feral cat.

Of the day Nicole said: “After watching 25 young people stumble onto a bus with dirt marring their clothes, I’ve learned that our generation are a hard-working generation.

“Working alongside young people from many diverse economical, social and cultural backgrounds the work ethic of our generation is evident and so it is my responsibility to say that we are a motivated youth.

“I have also learnt that insecurity is a massive, universal issue in young people as I saw people turn down the opportunity for photos, interviews and constantly searching for confirmation that they were correctly completing their task.

“It is this insecurity that must be broken but by producing positive media stories like this, we can revive confidence in young people and show them that they are better than negative news stories portray.”