Digging for Sunderland – green-fingered teenagers pitch in to help Grace House

GARDENING: Chief Executive Karen Parry joins Lead Worker Steven France and members of the National Citizen Service during the garden event at Grace House in Sunderland Picture: DAVID WOOD

GARDENING: Chief Executive Karen Parry joins Lead Worker Steven France and members of the National Citizen Service during the garden event at Grace House in Sunderland Picture: DAVID WOOD

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Green-fingered teenagers got their hands dirty to spruce up a city charity.

As part of the National Citizen Service, young people aged 16-17 from across Wearside helped to brighten up gardens at Grace House, in Southwick, ahead of the opening of the respite facility.

GARDENING: National Citizen Service members Sam Dixon (15, left) and Sam Kelly (16) take part in the gardening event at Grace House in Sunderland Picture: DAVID WOOD

GARDENING: National Citizen Service members Sam Dixon (15, left) and Sam Kelly (16) take part in the gardening event at Grace House in Sunderland Picture: DAVID WOOD

For the past four weeks, the youngsters have been working with youth workers Steven France, Dale Percival and Chloe McGee.

As well as taking part in an adventure fortnight, which included abseiling and mountain climbing, they are spending a fortnight giving something back to the community.

They chose to help Grace House by taking part in a morning of planting, and have also organised fund-raising activities for mental health charity, Mind.

Events included a charity car wash and BBQ at Made for the Cage Fight Academy, in Villiers Street, in the city centre, a coffee morning at Italian Kitchen in Thompson Road, Southwick, and a music and comedy night at Legacy in Park Lane.

GARDENING: National Citizen Service member Sam Kelly (16) takes part in the gardening event at Grace House in Sunderland Picture: DAVID WOOD

GARDENING: National Citizen Service member Sam Kelly (16) takes part in the gardening event at Grace House in Sunderland Picture: DAVID WOOD

Lead youth worker Steven, said: “The young people came up with all the ideas themselves and they’ve done incredibly well.

“They came up with the idea of helping Mind after seeing signs for the Samaritans on Wearmouth Bridge.

“It started them thinking about mental health and they wanted to do something to help. That’s what the scheme is all about, it’s about social cohesion.”