TEENAGERS took to the streets of Wearside to change perceptions about their generation.
Members of the Underground Youth Project, in Newbottle Street, Houghton, went out into the town for the Truth About Youth Campaign.
They asked people of all ages to sign a pledge card to support their work, gathering 200 signatures throughout the day, which was part of a Regional Youth Work Unit drive.
The Underground provides a drop-in service for those aged 13 to 19, while also putting on music activities.
Ricky-Scott Murray, manager of the Underground, who is also on placement with the Regional Youth Work Unit, said: “I’m not naive enough to think that some young people don’t go out and cause trouble.
“Our argument is that there is just as much antisocial behaviour coming from adults.
“It’s about pushing a positive image of young people instead of the stereotypical view people have.”
The youth leader also said that in the current economic climate it is harder than ever for those growing up.
“Given the opportunity they would shine,” he said.
“It’s especially hard at the minute given the fact that access to university has become so expensive.
“We also have the highest rate of unemployment that we have had for a very long time.”
During the day’s events, which were funded by the Co-operative Foundation, the teenagers also encouraged people to add their handprints to the wall of the Underground office.
Sunderland’s Deputy Mayor and Mayoress Coun Bob Heron and wife Juliana attended the event.
Ricky said he felt the Underground members had been successful in promoting people of their age positively.
“It’s been really well received because, from the youth project’s point of view, it’s good for the community to see young people in a different light for once,” he said.
“We got quotes from some people saying ‘young people have got no motivation’.
“But we can say it’s not totally true.
“That’s the whole aim of the challenge.”
To find out more about The Underground call 07921 210989.