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Teenagers donate dog walkers’ bench to animal charity in Sussex

A group of 11 young people have donated a special dog walkers’ bench to the RSPCA.

The group of 16 to 17-year-olds who are taking part in the National Citizen Service (NCS), from Horsham and mid-Sussex, decorated a bench with colourful paint and paw prints to donate to the RSPCA South Godstone Animal Centre.

This was part of the group’s social action project. The teenagers decided to support the animal welfare charity after head of education David Allen gave them a talk on the RSPCA and the five animal welfare needs earlier in the summer.

Rose Abram, NCS project officer said: “They really enjoyed the talk from the RSPCA as they are a group of animal lovers. It really inspired them to decide to support the charity and they came up with the idea of a bench when they saw an old, disused bench in Horsham Park. As many are dog walkers themselves, they wanted to make an enjoyable and functional space for dog walkers to rest and socialise.

“They decorated the bench to represent the five needs of animals which they learnt in the session and they decorated it with footprints from lots of different animals.”

The group pitched ideas and decided on how to fund their project by hosting a dragon’s den style activity before going ahead with the project.

On Sunday (November 12) teenagers and staff from the NCS group visited South Godstone to deliver the bench and present it to the animal centre. They were also given a tour by centre manager Darren Parish.

David Allen, head of education at the RSPCA, said: “We very much support the role of NCS in helping to build young people’s confidence and help raise awareness of social issues. It is so important that young people are exposed to the issues charities face, whether human or animal, and to show them how they can help to make a difference.

“We were delighted they chose to support the RSPCA and it was brilliant to meet the group on Sunday. They had such a good time and have agreed to come back to the centre early next year to varnish, fix-up and improve the benches and picnic tables on site at South Godstone. This is the second group which has supported the centre with their volunteering initiatives and have really helped RSPCA South Godstone and the many animals the centre cares for.”

The bench has now been placed on site as a welcome respite for volunteer dog walkers and guests.

For more information on NCS visit www.ncsyes.co.uk

To support RSPCA South Godstone visit www.rspca.org.uk/local/south-godstone-animal-centre

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