BLAZE is a project for local, under-priveleged teenage boys. The project extends the relationships we have established at BFree Youth Cafe, by providing teenage boys with opportunies and experiences which they would not normally be able to access or afford. Through BLAZE we aim to empower young men to contribute to their community, broaden their horizons and develop their team building skills.
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Registered Charity in England and Wales (1096397)
BLAZE originally started in July 2007, after several teenage boys attending BFree Youth Cafe expressed a desire to visit London. The honesty and vulnerability in their admission that they had never visited the capital, led our team to identify a need and begin providing new experience for these young men. BLAZE provides 6 trips a year, and runs a boys night at BFree Youth Cafe each month. We have been very fortunate to offer some great days out for the boys, which have included Paintballing, watching a Premier league football team play live, vising London Dungeons, London Aquarium, and as a result of what was discovered in the first paragraph, an open roof bus tour around London! The trips not only provide an exciting new experience for the boys, but a unique quality time with the staff and volunteers who attend these days out alongside them. BLAZE also took 16 boys on its first residential trip in August 2008, visiting the fantastic PGL Marchants Hill centre for 3 days of Abseiling, Quad biking and Climbing. BLAZE boys nights give us the opportunity to have a relaxing night, provide a hot meal, watch a movie, talk about life issues and develop the BLAZE community. Each month we have a different theme, game or activity, which sees up to 30 boys attending each session. We are extremely proud to say that BLAZE achieved one of its goals last summer by working in the community. We were priveleged to take willing groups of boys from BLAZE to carry out gardening work for elderly people who were being supported by Age Concern. This was an extremely sucessful project, which saw up to 12 boys digging, mowing and tidying gardens for local elderly residents who could not complete this work themselves. Not only did this empower and encourage the boys to be active in their community, but it helped to bridge the gap between generations and help the boys establish trusting relationships with part of the elderly community. BLAZE was awarded the Mole Valley Community Spirit award for its gardening work in February 2009. BLAZE costs roughly ¬£20k a year to run, which includes salary (¬£6k), trips and outings (¬£6k) BLAZE nights (¬£3k), the yearly BLAZE residential trip (¬£3k), equipment (gardening, sport: ¬£1k) and admin (1k).
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