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Five young men from County Durham completed The KEY+ Challenge and created a community ripple effect with their kindness project.

Christopher, Olaf, Terry, Jamie and Thomas joined forces at school and began KEY+ to help build their skills and confidence and strengthen their friendship. The group quickly got to grips with Stage 1 as they made their own mini library, complete with bean bags, before moving on to Stage 2 to plan a trip to Beamish and an end-of-year celebration for staff and students. The Arc Renovators developed many skills through the early stages of KEY+ and it was no surprise that they wanted to complete the challenge and plan a community project for all. So, with this in mind, the group got to thinking about their Youth Impact project.

The Arc Renovators were passionate about many causes in the community and wanted to deliver a project that would help as many different groups as possible. That’s why they came up with the idea to do an Acts of Kindness project that would create food and toy hampers for families in need, donate hygiene hampers to a local charity and create staff wellbeing and thank you hampers their learning staff at their school. Although the final project idea was an idea they were all pleased with, the group had to draw on their problem solving and new found ability to manage conflict to settle on their final three themes.

With their idea in motion, the group got to the planning stage of KEY+. They dealt with people in power and authority as they got the go ahead with their wellbeing pack idea from their Head Teacher and negotiated with pupil support teams to identify which families in need would anonymously receive the food and toy hampers. The Arc Renovators had to search for information and seek advice as they searched online for prices for the items they needed for their hygiene pack and produced a comprehensive budget that covered all bases. It was no surprise that the group got a big yes at their pitch to panel with the level of detail and thought they had put into their idea.

The Arc Renovators delivered an exceptional project that was kind and caring to all. The young men took the time to understand their local community and who was most in need and came up with creative solutions for how they could tackle the issues. The group has grown in confidence and developed their skills as they progressed through the challenge. They would recommend others to take it on as Jamie said, “Take part. You learn a lot and get to take part in activities you want to take part in!”

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