The members of NCS Team 12 have raised a fantastic amount of money to help a Barnstaple mental health charity

Hardworking members of NCS Team 12 have made a real difference for Barnstaple mental health charity Clarity.

They have painted the therapy rooms and front door, obtained a sign donated for the Boutport Street premises by Wizard Signs and also raised £814 which will enable volunteers to carry out improvement work inside.

Clarity offers support, therapy and counselling for anyone experiencing mental health or emotional issues, provided by professionals voluntarily.

Each NCS - National Citizen Service - team must find a charity or community project to help and in this case, it was pure chance.

The Government-sponsored summer programme is designed to give work and life skills, as well as a challenge and self-confidence for young people aged 15 to 17.

Team leader Holly Fieldsend said they were in a charity shop looking for project inspiration when a man came up and suggested they support Clarity.

As well as the renovation work, which will enable Clarity to host two new support groups this autumn, the team held a range of fundraising activities from a cake sale and quiz, to bag-packing at Tesco and Asda.

Anne Jenkins, chairman of trustees at Clarity, said the money would probably be used to create a soundproof internal wall in their building and enable them to create a second counselling room.

She said: "To raise that amount of money is fantastic and we are extremely grateful because we run entirely on donations.

"Mental health now affects about one in three people and it affects not just the sufferer but whole families."

Holly said: "Clarity help up to 150 people a month; it's amazing.

"I decided to do NCS because I thought it was an experience I didn't really want to miss. All the life skills you don't get from school, you get with NCS."

Deputy team leader Constance Williams said they had got to meet so many different people and make new friends, socialising with them outside of NCS too.

She added: "I have got so much more confidence, I can go up to somebody I don't know or call them on the phone."

Anne and head of therapy Penny Arber at Clarity said the help from NCS had given them the impetus to get the rest of the building decorated.

Any decorators who can help are asked to call Clarity on 01271 267474.