Changing rooms boost for patients

DECORATING: Dr Amy Johnstone (front right) holds the tin of paint for Gemma Docherty (front left), from National Citizen Service (NCS) who helped paint the room as Tracy Woodall (standing centre) from Hartlepool & District Hospice, presents a wall plaque to commemorate the event to NCS leaders (standing left to right) Melissa Wardele, Helen Hadfield, Joanne Blackwood and Daniel French
DECORATING: Dr Amy Johnstone (front right) holds the tin of paint for Gemma Docherty (front left), from National Citizen Service (NCS) who helped paint the room as Tracy Woodall (standing centre) from Hartlepool & District Hospice, presents a wall plaque to commemorate the event to NCS leaders (standing left to right) Melissa Wardele, Helen Hadfield, Joanne Blackwood and Daniel French
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SCHOOL-LEAVERS have helped to make surroundings more comfortable for hospice patients after giving two rooms a makeover.

Eleven teenagers on the National Citizen Service (NCS) scheme spent a total of 63 hours over four weeks brightening up a family room and a kitchen at Hartlepool & District Hospice, in Wells Avenue.

The 16-year-olds painted and decorated the rooms, wallpapered the areas and bought accessories including furniture, lamps and curtains and tables and chairs and also painted outside areas and fencing.

The young people were given £1,000 to spend on materials for the project and chose the hospice as the recipient of their services.

They also bought rugs, microwaves, crockery and biscuits and coffee for hospice patients.

NCS key worker Joanne Blackwood, who worked with the group, said: “We approached the hospice to see if we could help - it was just what the young people wanted to do. “They have done marvellous, they really have.

“The hospice said the rooms are now really nice and comfortable for the families to sit in.

“The young people turned up each time and did the hard graft and a few of them are going to go back and help with the garden in their own time.”

The group, which also enjoyed a trip to Dukeshousewood outdoor camp, near Hexham, and spent five nights at Throston Youth Project on an independent living scheme, was led by team leaders Gavin Munkley and Melissa Wardele, alongside Joanne and fellow key worker Daniel French and volunteer Helen Hadfield.

The group are just some of the 1,000 16-year-olds in the Cleveland area taking part in the NCS scheme, which ends next week.

The Government scheme is a Big Society initiative supporting young people from all backgrounds to work together, take on new challenges and make a difference.

Hospice sales and events fundraiser John Martindale said: “The young people’s work has brightened everything up greatly.

“The rooms look absolutely fantastic and the garden looks beautiful. “Patients and their families have said how nice it looks.”