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The Staffordshire Council of Voluntary Youth Services Action Team is a group of young volunteers from the Chase district. They decided that they wanted to help homeless people and those suffering hardship by making up soap bags containing everyday toiletries. The completed bags will be donated to a local charity in Cannock which, as The Pavement reported in March 2011, is hoping to set up a homeless shelter in the local area.
Jane Reynolds, South Staffordshire youth volunteer advisor, said: “The Youth Action Team decide which projects they would like to support each year, they plan the event and they recruit additional volunteers if required. The idea for the community project came from one of my volunteers who had attended a meeting with Pat Wolfe.”
After discussions with Pat, the team also wanted to gain a broader understanding of the issues faced by local homeless people and decided to take the project a step further. Pat recommended that the team contact Peter Fielding, from the Rugeley Lions People in Need charity, with a view to helping him out. Peter runs the Portacabin in the Beecroft car park in Cannock, giving out drinks and sandwiches four days a week. The team wanted to spend their remaining budget on buying tinned goods for the Portacabin. Bal, the new owner of the NICA shop in Chadsmoor, was also keen to support the project and generously supplied the goods at cost price. The team are due to deliver the stock to the Portacabin and will be helping to distribute the goods in the near future.
The young people really enjoyed the experience. Meg Newland, a member of the Youth Services Action Team, commented: “As a young person in the current recession, I can understand how hard it is to keep up with bills. It amazes me that not much is done for those who are homeless, and I am proud to be part of this project.“