May 18 2013 Latest news:
John Phillips , Senior Reporter
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Vanessa Nsilu has raised a staggering £40,000 for the Salvation Army in the last two years.
The 17-year-old is a student at Eastbrook School, in Dagenham and has part-time job as a youth worker at the organisation’s base in Ripple Road, Barking.
I started attending The Salvation Army six years ago and I have been running the Alove Youth Group and Youth Church for the last two years.
During the past three years I have raised about £40,000 to fund activities for young people in Gascoigne ward. I’ve planned and organised trips to Alton Towers, Chessington World of Adventures, Thorpe Park, Butlins and most recently a week-long trip to Sunbury in August.
We spent two days at Thorpe Park and took part in a lot of sporting activities during the rest of the week, as well as paintballing.
We raised the money for this latest trip by collecting bags of old clothes, which were taken to The Salvation Army at 240 Ripple Road and then sold to fund our youth work.
In April this year, our youth group went to Spring Harvest 2011 at Butlins, Minehead. Our Alove Group again took part in some sporting events and we won the basketball and the under 16’s five-a-side football.
Some members perform music gigs once a month.
I recently got funding of £2,000 for music and art equipment. I have also setup a hip-hop dance class which is open to all young people aged six years old to 17.
Already the class is such a success that we have between 30 and 35 young people attending every Thursday night.
Youth work is challenging and I’ve attended leadership training. Most recently I and 15 others attended a Level 2 child protection course.
I do most of the risk assessments, registration forms and other youth admin for the group.
I do all this during my spare time as I’m still studying for my A-levels. I’m now employed part-time by The Salvation Army in a scheme that I set up.
The aim of this project was to help young people earn money now that Education Maintenance Allowance has been scrapped and to promote youth employment and empowerment.
I want to study events management at university. In the next three months The Salvation Army Hall in Barking will be renovated.
This will include the refurbishment of The Youth Hall funded by a youth project my friends and I have taken part in and a new frontage for a Youth Cafe designed by our leadership team, which I am part of.