St Albans suicide prevention barbecue raises £350

The NCS team selling cakes in aid of OLLIE.

The NCS team selling cakes in aid of OLLIE. - Credit: Archant

A barbecue organised by community minded teens raised hundreds of pounds for a local suicide charity.

Amy DeCastillo at the barbecue.

Amy DeCastillo at the barbecue. - Credit: Archant

Six teenagers got together for the National Citizen Service (NCS) Action Day in aid of The OLLIE Foundation (One Life Lost is Enough) - a St Albans-based charity which provide training on the warning signs of suicide in teenagers.

The group also arranged a cake sale at Bunnings and have created three videos highlighting issues which commonly lead to suicidal thoughts. They will be shown to local schools after Easter.

The NCS Action Day is a national campaign to get teenagers volunteering in their local communities.

St Albans resident Amy DeCastillo, 17, completed the NCS programme last summer and has since been on the NCS regional youth board.

The NCS team selling cakes in aid of OLLIE.

The NCS team selling cakes in aid of OLLIE. - Credit: Archant

She said: “Action Day is a great opportunity to give something back to your local community, while also being part of a national event which celebrates the contribution young people can make.

“NCS has genuinely changed my life and so it was important to support a charity that helps young people who feel much less empowered.”

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OLLIE coordinator Verity Bramwell thanked the group for their donation of £350: “The NCS team did brilliantly well, working in freezing conditions and raising a fabulous amount to help fund our suicide intervention skills training.

“Young people listen to other young people and it has been inspiring to see the NCS team take ownership of the fundraiser and hear their plans for their video education programme.

“We hope to work with NCS colleagues and the young people themselves in the future to lessen the stigma of teenage suicide and create a community of confident and skilled people trained to spot and work with young people at risk.”

The Action Day took place on March 18 and was sponsored by Santander. NCS is delivered regionally by Ingeus, an employability and skills programme provider.

Suicide is the leading killer of young people under 35 in the UK, and on average four young people take their own lives every day.

Find out about the four week 16-17-year-olds summer NCS programme at