Young people on a Prince’s Trust course raised money to buy, cook and serve a meal at a Horsham charity last week.
As part of the trust’s 12-week Team Programme the 16 to 25-year-olds cycled 40 miles to Shoreham and back last Wednesday (July 31).
They spent their £200 in sponsorship money on a meal of homemade burgers and wedges to serve to about 30 people at ARK Horsham the next day.
Around 80 burgers, eight bags of potato wedges and salad were dished out to people struggling with homelessness, unemployment, addictions or other difficulties as well as volunteers at Horsham United Reformed Church.
ARK’s senior support worker Maria Stack said: “It’s lovely to see young people serving in the community. They’ve socialised, supported and talked to the ARK family and they’ve brought youth and enthusiasm into the building.
“Not only did they cook and serve the meal, they have cleared away afterwards. It’s just been wonderful.”
Nathan Finneran, 20, and Lawrence Shaw, 24, were two of the young people taking part. They found out about the course through the Horsham Y-Centre’s Find it Out job club scheme.
Nathan, who is currently homeless, said: “The course has been good. I’ve really enjoyed myself and met lots of new people.
“I’ve helped in the community at places I never knew existed. It was a challenge (this week), but we got there in the end. The bike ride was amazing.
“Some bits were tough, but we just got on with it. It was quite nice sitting on Shoreham beach at the end of it.
“I didn’t know how to cook burgers from scratch. It’s easier than I thought it was going to be.”
He added he has also achieved his first aid and hygiene certificates on the course.
Lawrence described how the programme has helped him. He said: “I wasn’t doing anything. I hadn’t been working for quite some time and was finding it hard to find a job.
“It’s got me back into a routine. I was getting up at whatever time and going to bed at whatever time.
“The other this is I have met a lot of people who are in the same situation as me. You don’t feel alone.
“It’s good to wake up the same time every day and go to a place where there’s people. It’s really helped my confidence.
“It was really rewarding (cooking the meal).”
Adam De Frateschi, 23, is a regular at ARK, who did the Prince’s Trust course earlier this year.
He said: “The course gave me a bit of direction and made me realise I needed to get working. It showed me other opportunities were available.
“It was worth doing and I would recommend it.”
For more information about the Prince’s Trust Team Programme go to princes-trust.org.uk/need_help/courses/team.aspx