Teenagers clock up 'inspiring' 3,000 hours of pandemic volunteering
- Credit: Project ImpACT
To mark Volunteers' Week, a north London charity is highlighting the 3,000 hours its team of teenagers has clocked up during the pandemic.
Project ImpACT has worked out of bases including at JW3 in Finchley Road to write cards and letters for people who have been isolated, create "care packages" for refugees and cook for local foodbanks and NHS staff.
The teenagers adapted to work virtually – and when it has come to cooking this has meant following a chef's instructions over video-chat online before delivering parcels of food to food banks like the one at JW3.
Chayli Fehler, the charity's founder and director, said: "‘I am incredibly proud of all the ImpACT teens who were determined to use their time to volunteer in different ways and support the local community.
"Through our programme, they have realised that even at their age, they can definitely get involved and make a difference. I believe volunteering should be a part of every teenagers journey into adulthood."
Other events have included virtual bingo nights for isolated older people.
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Jacob Forman, who runs JW3's social programming, said: "The Project ImpACT teens do a wonderful job. The food they make is delicious and very gratefully received.
"The personal notes that the volunteer chefs attached to the meals really added a lovely personal touch and let the recipients know that there are people out there that care for them in their time of need."
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One teenage volunteer, Rachel, said it has been an "amazing experience" so far and that she was delighted to see the impact the team made.
Robert Auerbach, one of Project ImpACT's youth ambassadors, added: "It is extremely inspiring to see the effort of my fellow peers ensuring every package was carefully made, with meaningful, positive and uplifting letters.
"To see so many teens enjoying volunteering and gaining a love for volunteering makes me extremely grateful to have been able to have been involved."
Project ImpACT is a Jewish social action programme that empowers teens to make a difference in the community and society at large by volunteering their spare time to help those less fortunate.
This week marks a special drive to help provide food to those in need and organisations who may need food donations should contact firstname.lastname@example.org