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Astell Care Centre call in the Newcastle United Foundation NCS Gardening Team

What can 16-17 year olds do in their summer holidays? Take part in their local National Citizen Service of course!

A group of local teenagers from Newcastle upon Tyne have spent the last four weeks taking part in a range of activities which have seen them learn some valuable life skills, culminating in them ‘giving something back’ to their local community.

The group spent four days cleaning, de-weeding, pruning and planting, sprucing up the garden at Astell Care Centre in Newcastle upon Tyne. On Thursday 1st September, the group then unveiled the new look garden to some very shocked residents.

Lisa Ramsey, Home Manager, said: “Who needs Ground Force when we had Newcastle United Foundation’s National Citizen Service (NCS) team? I can’t thank the guys and girls enough. They really have done a fantastic job. The residents were extremely grateful and at the unveiling enjoyed swapping stories about their beloved Newcastle United.”

As well as sprucing up the garden, the team created a very special area for resident Chris, who is a keen grower of tomatoes.

Lisa Ramsey added: “Chris’s tomato plants can now flourish as they have their own private area of the garden in which to grow. Hopefully we’ll reap the benefits of Chris’s patience waiting for them to grow.”

Tayyab Hussain, NCS Team Leader for Newcastle United Foundation’s NCS Programme said: “The group all had a great time. They’d continue to turn up day after day to get the job done. After meeting a few of the residents, Chris and Kenny in particular who were some real characters, it really spurred the team on and they put their heart and soul into the clean-up. Some of the team will continue to maintain the garden for the residents here at Astell, maintaining the friendships they’ve built up with the residents.”

One of the youngsters who took part in the programme said: “It really was a great experience. Where else could you go to make new friends, hang out and have fun together, whilst giving something back to the community? I’d highly recommend NCS to everyone.”

Date published: 15 September 2017

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