Student helps all ages across Inverclyde

Wed, 29 Apr 2020 16:19:00 BST
Aimee has teamed up with others at Branchton Community Centre to make meals for locals
Aimee has teamed up with others at Branchton Community Centre to make meals for locals

A GCU student has been playing a key role in supporting her local community during lockdown.

Radiotherapy and Oncology student Aimee Ellis is a senior youth worker at Branchton Community Centre in Greenock and has adapted sessions so that young people can stay entertained during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Aimee, who’s in her third year at GCU, explained: “I manage a team of seven youth workers within the facility and we usually run sessions on a Monday and Wednesday for young people in the local community – this goes from pre-school all the way through to 18-year olds.

Unfortunately, it had to stop because of the coronavirus, however we’re now doing online virtual youth group sessions.

We’ve been using Zoom with the younger kids to do quizzes, bingo and talent shows. We hold a separate session for our older age group, where they can come on and use the time to just have a chat. It’s really important to support them and make sure they’re coping with lockdown.”

Aimee, alongside a team of other dedicated volunteers, has also been trying to make sure locals don’t go hungry - with some residents unable to leave their homes.

She said: “We’ve been using the community centre to make and distribute over 300 meals per day to people across Inverclyde. These are going out to those who need them most and it’s supported more than 200 adults and 100 young people.

I also helped make up and distribute 90 activity packs and Easter Eggs to our registered children – they always get something from us each year and we didn’t want this to change.

Some of the kids hadn’t seen anyone outside their families for a few weeks, so it cheered both them and us up!”

Aimee added: “This is all voluntary work and it’s been challenging to juggle everything alongside essays and studying.

Nevertheless, it has definitely made a difference to local people and been a great success.”

By Ross Clark

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