Young Sheffield volunteers make a difference in their community

Adam Parker and Loren Hutchinson. Picture: Andrew Roe
Adam Parker and Loren Hutchinson. Picture: Andrew Roe
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Two Sheffield teenagers are leading by example in their community by giving up their time to help others.

Loren Hutchinson and Adam Parker are busy enough preparing for their final year at the Peaks campus of Sheffield College.

Loren Hutchinson helps Kathryn Wilford paint at an activity session at the Link. Picture: Andrew Roe

Loren Hutchinson helps Kathryn Wilford paint at an activity session at the Link. Picture: Andrew Roe

But that hasn’t stopped the 17-year-olds, both of whom want to be teachers, volunteering around their home community of Stradbroke.

Loren works at The Link community hub, partly in the charity shop and partly helping run activities for children, such as sports and arts and crafts.

“I quite enjoy giving my time up,” she said. “It’s a good way to get into my community and to have something to do.

“It’s nice to know you have done something worthwhile.”

Adam Parker has helped renovate the area behind the Link. Picture: Andrew Roe

Adam Parker has helped renovate the area behind the Link. Picture: Andrew Roe

College classmate Adam volunteers at Norton Free Church of England Primary School. He started there on placement from college but enjoyed it so much he asked if he could carry on.

“I was only supposed to do 10 weeks but I stuck on and am going to do it next year,” he said.

Adam has also been involved at The Link in Stradbroke, helping with a refurbishment, and has volunteered at Heeley Parish Church.

“It’s just a way of paying into the community,” he said. I’m not working but I’m getting experience through volunteering - I’m benefitting and so is the community.”

Both Adam and Loren had help finding places to volunteer from The Self Leadership Initiative. Managing director Gemma Perkins said her aim was to help young people develop themselves.

She added: “We find that many participants join our courses as something extra for their CV and are pleasantly surprised when they realise what a big difference it makes to their personal lives - especially their relationships with family and friends.

“They can see more clearly why disputes and challenges arise and they are better equipped to handle it or know when to walk away.”

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