Volunteer project aiming to bridge the gap between Redbridge’s old and young

Young and old are being brought together to help the community and their understanding of each other in a unique volunteering project.

Redbridge Community Action Project (RedCAP) is likely to see hundreds of people across the borough sign up to the scheme.

The project has been founded by Redbridge CVS (Council for Voluntary Services) after it learned of a scheme in Barking and Dagenham, which saw young people helping their community, from cleaning up after the summer riots to encouraging older people to use their vote in the election.

But RedCAP has given the scheme a twist by reaching out to people from across the spectrum, from schoolchildren to retired members of the community.

A steering group of up to 15 people charged with forming volunteering ideas and strategies is being set up.

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A youth conference was held at the Jack Carter Centre in The Drive, Ilford, in March where “enthusiastic” comments were received on the project and what it could offer.

Redbridge CVS operations manager Liz Pearce said: “A lot of people think volunteering is a good thing, but they’re not in a position to say I will give up two hours every Tuesday.

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“But they would be willing to get an email every now or again saying, ‘We’re going to meet on Saturday, how about coming along?’. It gives people an opportunity to be involved as much or as little as they are able.”

Volunteering days which could form part of RedCAP include litter picks or running a stall at the Green Fair in Ilford.

Project co-ordinator Laura Thistlethwaite said: “We don’t have anything like this in Redbridge.

“The idea is to bring different generations together. There’s not really an outlet for that at the minute.

“It’s good to provide an opportunity for people to get to know each other.”

The project, which plans to involve police safer neighbourhood teams in various schemes, is also looking for support to help pay for equipment and staffing.

n Call Redbridge CVS on 020 8553 1004 if you can help.

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