Planking, chatting, walking and hunting – Youth team help Holbeck community get out and about post-Covid

10th September 2020

A wonderful group of 16-17 year olds have been volunteering their time and ideas to support Holbeck Together over the summer.  

The Leeds United Foundation joined forces with the National Citizen Service to give teenagers (aged 15-17) the chance to develop life skills and learning. The two-week scheme includes several self-development activities, community engagement planning and a chance to raise money for a chosen charity. Leeds United Foundation selected Holbeck Together as one of its charities of choice.

After branding themselves ‘The Blue Team’ the youngsters visited the Holbeck Together team and came up with a variety for ideas to get people active and raise vital funds for us as a charity.

They used our ‘500 challenge’ as a hook to create lots of fun ideas to raise money. They spent almost 5 hours doing continuous 500 seconds of dancing, planking and passing a football, encouraging members of the public to join them, raising awareness. A total of £125.48 was raised to be split equally between Holbeck Together and Leeds United’s other chosen charity partner, The Recovery Hub.

Inspired by Yorkshire-born Captain Sir Tom Moore, the 12 teenagers also coordinated an Intergenerational Walkathon with 6 older members of the community. The aim was to walk 500-steps each along Holbeck Moor. During the challenge, the clients were interviewed by the teenagers to understand how they have coped with life in lockdown and the challenges they have faced and overcome – this is part of the community engagement segment of the scheme to encourage the young and old to share life experiences.

The Walkathon adhered to strict social distancing guidelines set out by the Government to ensure the health and safety of all those taking part in the challenge.

The participants from our older community said they really enjoyed stretching their legs and getting out as well as being able to chat to people. They reported that it had made such a difference to their week and they didn’t realise how much they needed to see people again. It was the first ‘in-person’ event we have run since lockdown for our older community and it was heart-warming to hear them saying how much they had missed each other. The girls did a fantastic job of distracting everyone from stiff joints or tired feet with their warm conversations and everyone left with a massive smile on their face. The participants raised around £50 towards the fundraising efforts. 

The team then spent the afternoon working with families and children of the community in a scavenger hunt which would take them all around Holbeck and fun was had by all as they explored local landmarks and places of interest. 

The team worked extremely hard and came together to do some good and help Leeds bounce back from the pandemic that has affected so many people’s lives in 2020.

Speaking on behalf of the Holbeck Together, Elissa Newman, Chief Officer said:

“Community connectivity is at the heart of everything we do, so to see young people getting involved with us in this way is fantastic. Our older clients are always up for a challenge and having been unable to interact face-to-face for such a long period of time we know they had a great time with the teenagers.

“Supporting local communities is incredibly important, so for the youngsters to get hands on experience at this stage in their life is a great opportunity and we hope they enjoyed the experience as much as we did.”

One team member said: “It was so amazing seeing the smiles on people’s faces, I felt so happy I could give something to the community and am thankful NCS, Leeds United and Holbeck Together gave me this opportunity, I will never forget it.”

As part of their efforts the NCS blue team set up an Instagram account where they could publicise and spread awareness of the work both they and Holbeck Together were doing. Pop over and give them a follow!

Supporters of Holbeck Together