YOUNG people in Kidderminster are preparing to welcome their European friends to the town as part of a cultural exchange programme.

The 1st Kidderminster Boys’ Brigade, who will host 14 children from Husum in Germany in October, held a fundraising and awareness event for the project on Saturday, August 16, and collected more than £500.

Last year the members of the Wyre Forest youth group visited Husum, which is twinned with Kidderminster, and now their German companions will make the return trip.

Graham Knight, who has helped organise the initiative, said: “Everyone is really excited about the exchange because it is not every day you can be part of something special like this.

“Those who went to Husum last year are especially looking forward to meeting up with their friends once again."

He added the young people from both countries would “broaden their horizons”, be “educated about different cultures and how other people live across Europe” and gain personal development opportunities by “being outside their comfort zone”.

The youth group has planned a variety of activities to entertain their German visitors including a civic reception with the Mayor of Kidderminster at the town hall, a tour of the Museum of Carpet and a day trip to Worcester.

Mr Knight said: “We hope our European friends will see and enjoy everything Kidderminster and Worcestershire has to offer.”

The fundraising and awareness event, which took place at the brigade's base at Milton Hall Baptist Church, Lorne Street, included a barbecue and entertainment by the Gasras choir and Tom Russell on the accordion.

A total of £539 was raised, which exceeded the organisers’ expectations.