Three teenagers donate their time to the homeless with the Salvation Army

THREE young boys who have been written off in the past as being ‘disengaged’ from education have fought back against stigma by volunteering with the homeless.

Dean, Ollie and Tyrese, all 14, from KWS Educational Services in Brunel Road, Bedford, a school which is dedicate to those with behavioural and social difficulties, spend their Wednesday afternoon to serving those in need at the Salvation Army in Bedford.

The Salvation Army is a charity and church which is dedicated to helping out the community, especially those facing difficulties in their lives.

Offering food parcels to the homeless, a safe space to get free food and drink and even a night café for those who need somewhere to get out of the cold, the volunteers do all they can help.

Major Graham Bailey who runs the facility said: “There have been very high numbers of visible homeless people in Bedford recently, so we do what we can to ensure these people stay safe, warm and fed.

“Over the past few weeks we have seen the number of homeless people using out night café soar, with an average of 25 people a night.”

Over the past few years the organisation has expanded with their Multi-use Games Area, and their Wool Pack Community Café.

But they rely on volunteers to make what they do work, and have welcomed the boys efforts to help out.

Major Bailey said: “Having the boys come down is wonderful for us, and a great experience for them, so we both win.

“It is great to see young people dedicated to helping others, and they are a great addition to the work we do here.”

Yvette Pearson from the school said; “We are so grateful to the team at the Salvation Army for allowing the boys this opportunity as many people judge the boys because of the school we are.

“They have really taken to it and absolutely love coming here and helping out.”

And the boys have even had the chance to learn something new from those who use the Salvation Army, including Tyrese who has become something of a dominoes master.

Tyrese, 14 said: “I didn’t know how to play until I started coming to the Salvation Army, but my friends here helped me learn.

“I really enjoy coming down here to help out.”

The Salvation Army at the Congress Hall in Commercial Road is open every day, with a Salvation Army Meeting and Meal on Sundays, the open house café and drop in on Wednesday afternoons and much more.

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