Teenagers are urging other young people to volunteer with local charities after they teamed up with Age UK.

Aisha Patel, Zaynab Amin and Juwairiyyah Mubarak helped out in the charity shop as part of an NCS (National Citizen Service) scheme that is being run through local youth organisation SLYNCS.

Aisha, a 16-year-old student from St Mary’s College said, “With the NCS scheme we wanted to do more community work. When we were presented with the opportunity to volunteer in the Age UK charity shop, it was great as it was something out of our comfort zone.

“It was a new experience for all of us.

“It gave me a different perspective about charity shops. Up until then, I would normally associate them with older customers and that their stock wouldn’t be appealing.

“I was really surprised that most of the customers were in their 20s and 30s.

“And the clothes included some really nice high street brands like River Island.

“I ended up buying some clothes from there too!”

Zaynab Amin who is joining Training 2000 reiterated her enjoyment of volunteering in the charity shop. “It was great to be involved in a project which helps local older people.

“I knew about Age UK, so was thrilled to have the opportunity to do some work in their charity shop.

“It was a really interesting day as I don’t normally go into charity shops.

“It was a real insight into how a shop runs behind the scenes.

“The charity shop plays such an important role in helping to raise funds to support older people locally.”

Juwairiyyah Mubarak, a 16-year-old student who is attending QEGS said, “Going to the charity shop was part of our community service associated with the NCS.

“It’s a great scheme which not only helps you meet new people, but also helps better the local community.

“We were split into groups in the Age UK charity shop and were delegated various responsibilities, including sorting through the clothes and tagging them.

“As well as learning new skills, we helped to make a difference to the community.”

Jaffer Ali Hussain, operations manager at SLYNCS said: “The young people of SLYNCS have had a fantastic summer supporting a number of partners through social action but Age UK is the only organisation that all our young people have worked with, with activities ranging from collecting items for the shop in Darwen to sorting through the items and then finally spending a day in the shop.

“We’re fortunate to have such great partners who support the development of young people’s skills and experiences and who are supportive of initiatives like ours.

“We hope that in the coming months and years we can build on this partnership ensuring more young people actively engage and get involved in their community.”