NCS teens brighten up Sunderland with artwork inspired by City of Culture bid

National Citizen Service youngsters completed a mural at the Salvation Army in Sunderland.
National Citizen Service youngsters completed a mural at the Salvation Army in Sunderland.

Sunderland youngsters put their art skills to the test when they completed a decorative mural at the Salvation Army base in the city.

Twelve teens took on the challenge as part of their National Citizen Service social action project which asks them to give back to their community.

National Citizen Service youngsters completed a mural at the Salvation Army in Sunderland.

National Citizen Service youngsters completed a mural at the Salvation Army in Sunderland.

The group, made up of young people aged 16 and 17, completed the mural at the Salvation Army’s Swan Lodge on August 21.

They were inspired to create a mural after completing a City of Culture workshop earlier in the programme.

They noticed there was lots of unpleasant graffiti around the area and wanted to make something to represent Sunderland.

The team worked with local artist Mark Shields and sent him various design ideas and images they wanted included in the mural and he came up with the final idea.

Chloe Magee, NCS Youth Worker, Groundwork North East and Cumbria said: “The group choose to have it at the Swan Lodge as they noticed they had the outdoor space which could be utilised.

“Once they got in touch with the Swan Lodge it turns out they were in the process of converting the space into an outdoor area for current residents.

“The group were very happy that this would link in and were keen to start.”

She continued: “As their lead worker, at one point I was worried they were not going to raise the funds to pay for this artwork, however they completely blew me out of the water with their enthusiasm and passion to raise as money as possible to make this go ahead.

“The group done various sponsored activities and raised over £600 which was nearly double what we needed.

“They were over the moon they could donate the rest of their money to charity and still have a lasting legacy in their city.

“I am very proud of their achievements in such a short space of time.”