Teenagers offering a lifeline to residents

big-hearted teenagers from Amber Valley have sent out a lifeline to older residents when they helped deliver essential items and goodies.

The young volunteers aged 10 to 16 years old packed and couriered a total of 43 hampers to older and vulnerable residents across the borough, as part of a Dreamscheme project from Amber Valley Housing.

The hampers were delivered to sheltered schemes and tenants on Thursday December 23, and included enough food for one main meal as well as extra treats and snacks.

Ally Law, Dreamscheme development officer for Amber Valley Housing, led volunteers Sacha Read, 16, Demi Plant, 11, Ryan Knighton, 12, Kaylam Plant, 12, Chris Booth, 13, and John Haslam, 12.

Ally said: “Seeing a friendly face can mean a lot to those with limited mobility, who can feel isolated from the community, especially in bad weather conditions.

“Our volunteers have really enjoyed making the deliveries and have made a very real difference spreading Christmas cheer to those residents who may not be able to venture out of the house in the extreme cold.

“We would like to thank our contractors for their generous donations, and hope the hampers went some way to making Christmas that little bit more special for our residents.”

Among the many satisfied customers was Ripley resident George Simpson, who received a hamper from 11-year-old volunteer Demi Plant.

Dreamscheme is a community youth development scheme which turns volunteer hours into points that can be redeemed for an activity or day trip to somewhere special.

After working for two full days, the young volunteers were treated to a meal at a local restaurant.

Earlier this year, young volunteers from the scheme raised more than £1,600 for Help for Heroes by cycling 80 miles of the coast to coast route between Whitehaven and Newcastle over three days.

Six 13 to 17-year-olds trained together for about four months with Darren Wilkinson, a maintenance technician for Guinness Northern Counties in Alfreton.

Goods for the Christmas hamper campaign were bought with donations from contractors Midway Demolition, Elite Construction, Camlen Fabrications and Joe Brown, and the hampers also included donations of bakery products from Delice de France.