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KEY+ Group: Nature Gang

Six young change makers helping others through the KEY+ Challenge.

Nature Gang took on the KEY+ Challenge with hopes of helping others.

Researching charities and causes, the group of young women soon felt inspired to support refugees and asylum seekers after learning about the issues and challenges they face when creating a new home in an unfamiliar country. They came up with the idea of providing some relaxing and fun activities for them to get involved with which is when they came across the charity Walking With, which supports refugees and asylum seekers in North Tyneside.

Working hard, the group made their plans, developed they budget and gathered everything they needed to pitch their craft activity pack to panel and get the go ahead. It was during the DO phase of the challenge when Nature Gang visited the Walking With, bonded with those benefited from their service that they instantly knew that they wanted to work with them again for their stage 3 KEY+ Project too.

At Stage 3, Nature Gang knew who they wanted to help their project and soon came up with a few ideas of how to do it. After some discussion, the ambitious young women settled on the unique idea of creating friendship benches to donate to Walking With for their communal garden. Their benches would brighten up the space at Walking With, provide an area for service users to meet people and build friendships whilst taking time out and enjoying the day.

To challenge themselves further, the group of young women also launched an art competition at school to find two art murals for their benches. The designs they chose promoted inclusion, friendship and kindness which were the messages they wanted to promote to their freinds at Walking With.

Nature Gang transformed through the KEY+ Challenge. They pushed themselves out of their comfort zones and repeatedly pitched ideas to a panel. The experience enabled the young women to build important sills for the future and boosted their confidence significantly. Nature Gang took a cause they were passionate about and made a big difference to the lives of others.

Their KEY+ Facilitator Helen said "These young ladies are usually shy and lack confidence. They were prepared to go outside of their comfort zones to help the charity. I am so proud of them. They are a group of extremely nervous and anxious girls. KEY+ has been absolutely brilliant for them and really taken them out of their comfort zones. They have presented a Teams assembly to three year groups and one made a phone call asking about prices for buses. She was terrified, almost to the point of shaking, but with deep breaths and talking about the worst case scenario, she did it. I think we sometimes forget how nerve wracking things like that can be for young people. I am so proud of the group!"

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