RAF Halton takes on the Advent Bergen Challenge to donate supplies to Aylesbury Youth concern

Sgt Matt Rodda from the Regional Rehabilitation Unit (RRU) at RAF Halton

Sgt Matt Rodda from the Regional Rehabilitation Unit (RRU) at RAF Halton

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Sgt Matt Rodda from the Regional Rehabilitation Unit wanted to help out with the initiative to give a 'hand up' to those in need.

The advent bergen Challenge was initially a social media challenge open to all military personnel to add a useful item to a Bergen back-pack or day-sack each day of December that could then go to someone in need, be they homeless, in a bad place or just in need of assistance.

Sgt Matt Rodda from the Regional Rehabilitation Unit (RRU) at RAF Halton decided to help with the initiative and said: "The 'Hand Up' is an empowering notion that can provide hope and motivation for people in need.

"Simple, conscious, and planned acts of kindness can dissolve the cycle of dependency and provide alternative futures for those with less who want out of life (Which is not everyone.

"Once I had filled my Bergen I took it to Aylesbury Youth Concern!"

"This wonderful organisation’s primary service is a Drop-in Centre for young people aged 13-19 or up to 25 with an identified need.

"They also offer an emergency host-accommodation project for young people aged 16-25 who are facing a homelessness crisis. This service provides a safe place to stay for up to seven nights with a volunteer host family whilst discussing possible options about the youth’s next steps.

"Finally they have a confidential counselling service which offers youngsters time and space to talk about things in their own way so that they get a better understanding of themselves and their problems.


“By giving them my bergen as well as some blankets I have turned my hand out into a Hand Up to help the local youth community.”

In the Aylesbury Vale alone this year, 66 young people have faced homelessness and the charity has provided beds for the night a total of 235 times – more than one every other night.

Aylesbury Youth Concern aims to be there for young people in their hour of need, when young people don’t know where to turn or have no-one to talk to.

Its drop-in centre, in Whitehill Lane, offers guidance, support and counselling as well as providing a music studio and IT studio.=

For more details about the charity, visit its website at http://youthconcern.org.uk.

If you would like to support the AYC, the charity would gratefully receive cheques made payable to ‘Youth Concern, Aylesbury’ or you can text YCAY01 plus £ and the amount you wish to donate to 70070, for example, text ‘YCAY01 £5’ to 70070.

Donations can also be made online, via its fundraising page at www.mydonate.bt.com/charities/youthconcernaylesbury