Young Islander Helps Give Disadvantaged Children A Week To Remember

Rachel Volunteer CHICKS BreakA St Mary’s student has just returned to the islands after helping a number of disadvantaged children enjoy their first holiday.

18-year-old Rachel Pearce spent a week at Par in Cornwall with a group of sixteen children and staff from the CHICKS organisation.

The youngsters, aged between 8 and 12, come from a range of disadvantaged backgrounds including those living in poverty, suffering abuse and acting as young carers for sick or disabled relatives.

It means they often miss out on many normal childhood experiences.

Rachel says volunteering has opened her eyes to how lucky many youngsters are in Scilly, being able to do things like go to the beach every day.

She says some of the children she worked with spend their entire summer at home and eat meals in their rooms alone.

Rachel wanted to assist CHICKS because her sister Hannah also volunteered with the organisation as part of her Duke Of Edinburgh residential care course two years ago.

She wants to work with children as she’s pursuing a primary teaching career and will start her training in further education at Brighton in the autumn.

During the week, Rachel took the visitors on a range of activities from body boarding to woodland walks.

She says she wants to volunteer for CHICKS again, but next time she’ll be prepared for the difficult job of saying goodbye at the end of the week to all the youngsters she’d met.

CHICKS is aiming to help 1,200 children from across the UK this year and need the support of over 400 volunteers. You can find out more about the organisation at www.chicks.org.uk.