Mercy mission

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A VOLUNTEER trip to India proved inspirational for a group of Mirfield teenagers.

The 15 young people were this week back home after a tiring but “phenomenal” visit to the sub-continent where they helped children with disabilities.

Project leader Bev Cheetham said: “It was a very successful trip.”

The trip was organised by Mirfield Community Trust and included young people from Castle Hall and Mirfield Free Grammar schools and Kirklees council’s young people’s mobile service unit.

With Bev and other volunteer leaders, they went to Mamta Mindhir schools at Navsari and Sapatura in the Gujerat region. Titled Indiability, the project aimed to deliver arts, sports and music to the schools, which cater for deaf and blind children and those with learning difficulties.

The Mirfield group played games with the Indian pupils and took part in various activities such as cricket, ball games, painting trees on walls and singing, especially at the school for the blind.

“The enjoyment the local children got from all this was phenomenal,” said Ms Cheetham.

“They are well cared for but there is not much one-to-one contact and we were able to provide that.”

During the 10-day trip, the party also visited an orphanage and a hospital run by donations as well as cultural outing such as a visit to Ghandi’s monument.

“What our young people liked most was working with the local children and they saw Indian life and culture as it really is, which is quite peaceful,” said Ms Cheetham.

“They gave their time to the children and the places we visited. As part of all this, they had to learn to work in many different ways. It was great.”

Those involved worked hard to raise the £16,000 needed for the project, setting up fund-raising events such as supermarket bag-packing, a ceilidh and a race night.