TEENAGERS had a summer to remember having fun and helping others.
A group of 30 Year 11 and 12 pupils joined the Summer of a Lifetime programme run in Peterlee by East Durham College.
Tina Lavelle, the college community officer, said: “Summer of a Lifetime is designed to give young people the opportunity to develop new skills, meet new people, make a difference to their local community, be challenged and most of all, have fun.”
The seven-week programme is part of the National Citizen Service Programme, which is a Big Society initiative, supporting young people from all backgrounds to work together.
As part of the scheme the group transformed an unkempt area within Peterlee’s Sunshine Nursery into a sensory garden and play area for the young children to enjoy.
Also, working with Natural England, the volunteers helped to clear overgrown meadows to enable people to gain access to an area of Castle Eden Dene and helped to improve the local environment.
Lisa Teneur, who helped run the scheme, said: “They also got to have some fun too, spending a week’s residential at Bewerley Park, near Ripon, taking part in activities such as canoeing, gorge walking and abseiling.”
At the end of the project, the students came together with their friends and family for a graduation event in the college’s Lubetkin Theatre where Easington MP Grahame Morris presented certificates.
He said: “It’s wonderful to see so many positive images on display. I often hear from people who have a negative image of young people.
“They really should come along and see some of the great things that are happening in our community.”
College vice-principal Sally Hudson said: “The group has worked very hard and has been hugely committed to the project. The work it has done has made a huge contribution to the community.”
Any current Year 11 or 12 students who are interested in taking part in 2013 Summer of a Lifetime scheme, which starts next July, should contact Tina Lavelle or Lisa Teneur on 5188220 for more details.