Freya Moffat (13) brightens up the windows of the Stoke Library with art. Photo: Kate Russell.

Random acts of kindness for Stoke

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The youth of Stoke are aiming to bridge the gap between young and old by spreading the love in the community.

Whanake Youth’s after-school group has been running a series of ‘random acts of kindness’ for term three with a goal to empower young people to become more involved in their community.

NMIT student social worker Lauren Penney, who is on placement at Whanake Youth, is organising the project.

She says their first gesture of making chocolate crackle treats and leaving them on the doorsteps of local businesses was a big hit.

“Everyone came back with thank you notes or came in personally to thank us,” she says.

They also baked and decorated cupcakes for the SPCA’s Cupcake Day and sold them in the community. Altogether they raised more than $100 for the Nelson centre.

Making rags from old clothing for Helping Families Nelson was another gesture, and their final random act of kindness was creating artwork on the windows of the Stoke Library on Monday morning.

“We’re trying to show Stoke that we’re doing positive things in the community,” says Lauren.

“The young people came up with all the ideas and spent about a month planning what they wanted to do. It’s been a good way for them to show off their talents and skills.”

Jacob Wealleans, 14, says the best thing about the series was “meeting new people in the community”.

Based in Strawbridge Square, Whanake Youth is a charity aiming to support youth in the region with their journey through adolescence into adulthood.

They run after-school groups every Wednesday afternoon for youth aged between 13 and 25.