Coventry students spent a life-changing week offering practical support in the homes of cancer patients, as well as handing out warm food and drinks to over 50 homeless people on the streets of Manchester.
Ten students from Grace Academy Coventry joined with seventeen other students from Grace Academies in Solihull and Darlaston to take part in ‘Manchester Revolution’, a four-day social action project in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support and Audacious Church.
Explaining what a great job the students did when they visited their home, one cancer sufferer said:
“The group of people that came to my house from Grace Academy are amazing. I really can’t thank them enough. They have done amazing with the garden and the house. I honestly have so much praise, I just don’t know who to give it to. Thank you very much for this help! I’ve literally just been crying to them all, thanking them. Honestly, they are such a lovely bunch of helpful kids. I can’t thank them enough. They have done a fantastic job.”
The teams of students were given an awareness and training session to prepare them to work with homeless and cancer patients and Emily Williams, Ethos Assistant from Grace Academy who organised the trip, said:
“Encouraging our students to be a part of this project is all about giving them the chance to experience and outwork the Academy’s values in the community, making a real difference to people in need and having a huge, long-lasting impact in people’s lives to see positive change.”
Students who took part said it was a real privilege to help vulnerable people and their comments included:
“Meeting new people was very beneficial as I got to understand different people from different backgrounds. It was such a pleasure to know I made some sort of positive impact on the homeless people as well as cancer patients’ lives.”
“I personally have OCD and the trip allowed me to reflect and notice that I can gain help and shouldn’t take life for granted.”
“I never thought I would be able to help someone in the way that we did. It was a privilege to help vulnerable people.”
“I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. I wanted to make sure the patient’s home was perfect by the time we left.”
“The best thing about the trip was knowing I was able to help people who are struggling.”
Hayley Williams, Volunteer Support Worker, Macmillan Solutions, from Audacious Foundation, added:
“The whole group helped our teams, taking food and drinks out on to the streets of Manchester, and at our Tuesday evening drop in. Every one of the team were fantastic at helping to set up, serve the food and at interacting with everyone who came in. The feedback from a few of our regular visitors was that they were really impressed to see a group of teenagers so enthusiastic, giving up their time to come and help them.
“It was a pleasure to have all the students and staff join us. They did a fantastic job at whatever they were asked to do.”