On Sunday, 15 local teenagers gave up their weekend to arrange and participate in a mass clean-up at Redcar beach. The young people travelled from all across the North East to help not only revamp the beach itself, but also the reputation of teenagers during Volunteers’ Week.
The team met through National Citizen Service (NCS), the UK’s flagship youth programme, where they bonded on the two to four week programme and became passionate about contributing to their local communities.
The teenagers, who are on the regional youth board for NCS North East, which is managed through a partnership of National Youth Agency and vInspired, came up with the idea to clean-up Redcar beach at their last meeting, where they agreed to do something positive over the half term. After contacting Friends of Redcar (FRED), a community action group, the board committed to helping to transform the beach into a place for all to enjoy.
Claudia Titton, 17 years old from Crook, Co. Durham, who sits on the regional youth board for NCS, says: “I never thought I’d be the person to give up my time to volunteer, but since NCS I realised it’s not how I thought it would be! I made amazing new friends on the programme and we have a great time with each other, so coming together to use the skills we learnt is the perfect way to catch up. We all love Redcar beach, so we thought we’d put our break to good use and try to make a real difference.”
She continues: “This project is just one of so many that NCS graduates create, we learn so much about the community and how to make a difference that we feel excited to try it for ourselves.”
NCS takes place across England and Northern Ireland, outside of term time, and is open to all 16-17 year olds for no more than £50. Teenagers can book their place online at NCSNORTHEAST.co.uk or by calling 0191 247 4020.