Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Teenagers Make a Positive Impact; Youngsters Gain New Skills and Attitudes

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Teenagers Make a Positive Impact; Youngsters Gain New Skills and Attitudes

Article excerpt

Byline: MICHAEL BROWN

THESE teenagers swapped a summer in front of the TV for a chance to make a difference in their communities.

Forty-five youngsters, who had just finished their GCSEs, joined staff from Gateshead Council and the Gateshead Voluntary Organisations Council (GVOC) to take part in the National Citizen Service scheme.

Over several weeks, 15 of them completed five nationally-recognised qualifications and a number of volunteering projects, as well as enjoying activities such as bikeriding, kayaking and rowing. They also spent time in North Yorkshire and the Lake District as part of Gateshead Council's Positive Futures Programme. Leigh Dixon, 15, said it had been one of her greatest experiences.

"I was really excited about the National Citizen Service scheme before I took part and it has been the best six weeks ever," she said.

"My favourite part was the residential where we got to do loads of activities, including kayaking, which I loved, and meet lots of new people.

"I have made loads of new friends who I've already met back up with, and I'm looking forward to doing even more activities and qualifications now."

Meanwhile, GVOCs Summer of a Lifetime project saw 30 teens help out at Path Head water mill, Rutherford AFC, a local theatre and a gardening project in Sunniside. …

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