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Student volunteers’ accolade for youth room transformation

Posted on 26 January 2007

A group of University of York students, along with seven sixth formers from Fulford School, have won a major award for their efforts in renovating a youth room for local young people.

They have received a Regional Millennium Volunteer of the Year Team Award for transforming Fulford Youth Room into a ‘cool meeting place’ for 11 to 18-year-olds.

Recruited through the University’s Community and Volunteering Unit, they worked in partnership with York Youth Service staff on the design of the Youth Room. The renovation was paid for by a grant from the Make Space campaign, funded by the Nestlé Trust, to create contemporary out of school clubs.

Between January and July last year, the volunteers spent nearly every Saturday creating a multi-purpose area with three distinct zones - quiet, chillout and active - accessible to all young people. They were inspired by designs developed by pupils at Fulford School.

It has been great to be part of such a worthwhile community project

Laura Ward

The University student volunteers were Psychology student Silvana Mengoni, 20; Laura Ward, 21, who is studying Biology, and Gemma Fay, 21, who is studying Mathematics. The fourth member of the team was Katherine Allen, 23, who studied English, and graduated in June 2006.

The Fulford School students were Suzanne Mandziuk, Kathryn Elliott, Mohcen Cheref, Simon Haley, Frankie Cowl, Emma Simpson and John Castle.

Laura Ward said: "It has been great to be part of such a worthwhile community project. There has been a real sense of working together towards a common goal."

Fulford School headteacher Steve Smith added: "I have been very impressed with the thought, effort and time that the sixth formers have put into the project in order to ensure its success. They are all excellent role models and they have clearly demonstrated the positive contribution that youngsters make to improving facilities for the community."

Denise Kennedy, of the Nestlé Trust, said: "Make Space clubs have so many benefits - for young people and the community alike. University of York students engaging the community and winning the Regional Millennium Volunteer of the Year Team Award is a perfect illustration of its positive outcomes."

The new look Youth Room was opened on 14 July last year. The volunteers were presented with their Regional MV of the Year Team Award at a ceremony at Leeds Town Hall last night.

Notes to editors:

The Community and Volunteering Unit is one of a number of ways in which the University of York encourages and supports volunteering in York and North Yorkshire. The Community and Volunteering Unit provides the University’s 11,000 students and 3,000 staff with access to small-scale funding to develop new means of supporting the community which is made possible by the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s Active Community Fund.

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