One local girl who will be helping to restore an animal sanctuary in Antrim is hoping her actions will convince other young people to ‘defy the negative social stigma placed on teens’ by signing up for the National Citizen Service’s Summer programme.
Nicole Parkinson-Kelly will be taking part in the NCS Social Action Day on Saturday, March 5, along with a team of 30 other young people doing restoration work at Crosskennan Animal Sanctuary.
Nicole said: “This will highlight the work of NCS, support local charities and communities and erase the social stigma that teenagers are ‘useless’, ‘lazy’ and ‘selfish’ in their communities.
“This is part of a UK movement for young people to give back to their communities.
“Hundreds of projects will be carried out across the country in the name of NCS Action Day to help to benefit our communities and dismiss the social stigma that young people ‘don’t care’ or are ‘useless’.
“Through the NCS, I believe that I should not succumb to this prejudicial attitude.
“As a proactive young person I intend to change these attitudes. In my opinion, the only way to flush out or dilute negativity is to neutralise it with positivity.
“Launched in 2011, to date over 200,000 teenagers have taken part in NCS and 3.3 million hours have been dedicated by NCS graduates to social action projects, helping to improve their local communities.
“These are the statistics we need to emphasise - 200,000 teenagers having a positive impact on society.”
“The Northern Ireland Regional Youth Board have decided to run a social action project for Crosskennan Lane Animal Sanctuary in which 30 young people from across all six counties of Northern Ireland will come together to do some physical labour to help rejuvenate the sanctuary following the recent floods and to help in the care of the animals.
“We hope to 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.
“The 30 young people involved will be split up into teams to work on different aspects of the sanctuary including painting fences, mucking out horses’ stables and washing and feeding animals such as sheep and dogs.
“Crosskennan Lane animal sanctuary is a registered charity and donations are very much welcome.
“You can donate directly to them by visiting their website at: www.crosskennanlane.org.uk/donate.
“If you would like to find out more about opportunities with the NCS you can contact myself at firstname.lastname@example.org or Corinna Crooks at email@example.com.
“You may also visit the Cooperation Ireland website for further information at: www.cooperationireland.org.”