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Story added: 9th August 2019

Elderly care home residents enjoy the sights and sounds of Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens

Participants on the Community Sports Foundation’s National Citizen Service (NCS) programme gave a helping hand to care home residents on an excursion to Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens in Great Yarmouth on Wednesday.

The group of 15-17 year old volunteers assisted residents from Windmill Care Home around the attraction’s network of wheelchair accessible walkways, as they viewed the collection of rare Asian animals.

After taking in the animals, which included gibbons, leopards, crocodiles, and endangered tigers, the group continued to build bonds over tea and refreshments.

NCS Engagement Coordinator Alex Spindler, who oversaw the visit, said:

“It was a great day, and so inspiring to see our young people be amazing with the care home residents on their day out. Everyone really enjoyed it.”

He continued: “Days like this aren’t one-offs. We’ve had different NCS groups volunteering, fundraising and supporting good causes almost every day this summer, right the way across Norfolk.

“The groups make a big difference in our local community, and it’s what makes NCS so special.”

Sue Ashburton-Dunning, Manager at The Windmill Care home, said: “[The young people] were absolutely brilliant. They were mindful of the older people’s frailties, kind and patient throughout the day.”

CSF delivers the national NCS programme in the East of England, and this summer has welcomed 650 young people, across six waves.

The programme combines the chance for young people aged 15-17 to experience exciting residential camps, and volunteer in their local community.

It provides them with the chance to take on new challenges, experience exciting activities, make long-lasting friendships and develop vital skills that will support them later in life, while tackling three core issues of importance to society: social cohesion, social mobility and social engagement.

Nationally, almost 400,000 young people have completed the NCS programme to date, giving up an incredible 11.7 million hours to social action projects.

"The groups make a big difference in our local community, and it's what makes NCS so special."

Alex Spindler

NCS Engagement Coordinator

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