A GROUP of teenagers led by the Bournemouth Churches Housing Association have been fundraising to help dancers take part in a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The dance group, who train at the Dance For All Studios in Boscombe, were sent to the European Street Dance Championships in Germany, after BCHA members help to raise £900 to help them on their way.

The youngsters were taking part in National Citizen Service - a youth empowerment programme open to 15-17-year-olds- when they chose to support Dance For All.

The BCHA, which helps homeless and vulnerable people access the right housing, health, learning and work opportunities, also delivers the National Citizen Service and, in its last financial year, saw 3,330 hours of voluntary service and £3,500 raised for charity.

Dom Weir, NCS team leader from the association, said: “It’s always amazing to see the passion and enthusiasm amongst young people grow as they go through the various stages of the programme – from outward bound activities through to skills based workshops right through to the social action project."

He added: “This story is an example of the positive impact young people can have on their communities; we just need to give them the tools, support and opportunities to realise their potential which is where programmes like NCS are so valuable. We’d encourage teens across the region to sign up this summer.”

Amelia and Caitlin, both 17 from Bournemouth, are graduates from the NCS programme.

“We chose to support Dance Four All as we wanted to give back to other young people in our community and we felt that DFA would benefit the most from our help," Amelia said.

Caitlin added: “Before taking part in NCS I didn’t know much about my local community and didn’t realise how much of a difference we could make. Creating our social action project, redecorating the studios and enabling the young dancers to achieve their dreams of attending the final was such a fulfilling and rewarding experience. It really helped us understand the positive impact of volunteering and helping others.”