If your car needs cleaning or you fancy a cheap piece of cake and a cuppa, a group of Shaftesbury-area teenagers are inviting you to visit their pop-up charity carwash and tea tent.
Ten volunteers are fundraising for Naomi House as part of their citizenship programme. Each year, local young people take park in NCS community projects over the summer holidays. In 2018, a group created a sensory garden at Great Ground. This year’s participants will spend Tuesday and Wednesday washing vehicles for a good cause.
“NCS is a government-run organisation, called the National Citizen Service,” explained volunteer Sam Joshi. “Young people aged between 15 and 17 come together to practice life skills We decided to set-up a car wash to gain money and raise support and awareness for Naomi’s House. It is a hospice for young and disabled children. They help with palliative care. We had a few charities in mind, but Naomi’s House had that local aspect. It is a small charity.”
Sam says that creating a car wash event was, ‘a collective agreement’, among team-members. The group was inspired by the success of Ali’s Carwash, which operated from the Cattle Market on Christy’s Lane before relocating to Udder Farm Shop when the Cattle Market site was sold. “We thought it would be good to be back in the town,” said Sam.
As I chatted with Sam, members of the group sat and watched from the steps outside Shaftesbury Football Club. I asked the spectators to shout out if they had washed a car before. There was a loud roar. The NCS volunteers are clearly up for this challenge. “We’re going to do a proper professional job,” promised Sam. “We’re going to charge £7.50 for each car wash and £10 for a larger van. We really encourage you to visit us, by Tesco. Each day, we’re operating from 10am to 5pm.”
The car wash is being offered for two days only, on Tuesday 23rd and Wednesday 24th of July. Look out for the group near the supermarket’s filling station.
Sam and his colleagues hope to raise £500 for Naomi’s House. Shaftesbury residents without a car, or locals who already have spotlessly clean vehicles, can still help the teenagers meet their fundraising target. “We’re going to be setting up a tent. While your car is being cleaned, you can relax and have a tea, coffee, a cake or brownies.” Teas will be charged at just 40p and coffee will cost 60p.
When the group of volunteers have completed their summer projects, they will be recognised for their contribution to the community. “There is a final graduation, where we get certificates as part of the national service,” Sam said.