How a group of talented teenagers in Harborough have spearheaded this amazing revamp

Gifted teenagers have helped to give a busy charity’s much-loved Chill Out Bus a £10,000 makeover.

Thursday, 24th October 2019, 4:09 pm
The Chill Out Bus.

The talented team which produces Speak Out magazine for young people has spearheaded a huge effort to revamp and redesign the multi-coloured vehicle.

Olivia O’Brien, operations manager at Harborough District Children and Young People’s Charity, said: “You could say they have driven this project from start to finish!

“The young people behind Speak Out have led this mission and done a fantastic job – the Chill Out Bus is looking great.”

Inside the Chill Out Bus.

She said the up-and-coming superstars sent out different designs to local schools and other youth organisations.

“The response was amazing.

“Welland Park Academy alone sent us back about 30 ideas.

“Our young people then brought it all together to create the dynamic new look.

“They decided on new upholstery and we’ve added wifi.

“The Chill Out bus is our very own mobile youth club.

“It’s got tables, chairs and play activity materials as well as being equipped with toasters and smoothie-makers.

“It’s a superbly kitted-out bus, a real powerhouse.

“And it enables us to get out into far-flung villages and work with vulnerable, isolated young people.”

She said they regularly drive out to support children and teenagers in Great Glen, Great Easton and South Kilworth.

“We aim to deliver and engage in youth work and play with young people who might otherwise be cut off.

“We were set up in 2012 to tackle child loneliness and tend to work with those aged from eight to 16,” said Olivia.

“We are here to enrich and improve their lives and the Chill Out bus gives us the vital freedom and flexibility to get out and about.”

She said they have also set up a cracking rapport with children on travellers’ sites at Green Acres in Harborough and Mere Farm, near Ullesthorpe.

“We see everyone from four to 18 on the two sites.

“They love us coming – they’re waiting at the gates to greet us,” said Olivia.

The £10,000 grant to transform the Chill Out bus has been awarded by the Building Connections Fund managed by the Co-Op Foundation.

“We are funded in a massive variety of ways.

“We have about 10 staff working for us and we’re always looking for volunteers to help us reach as many young people as possible,” said Olivia.

Anyone who would like to find out more about the charity can visit their website: https://localgiving.org/charity/hcyc/