Twenty young people have been celebrated at a ceremony for taking part in a Northumberland initiative to develop their skills for the future.
The young people, aged 16 to 17, attended the ceremony at Newbiggin Sports and Community Centre earlier this month where they were presented with their certificates by Lucy Carroll, the businesswoman behind Carroll's Heritage Potatoes and the last High Sheriff of Northumberland.
The National Citizen Service (NCS) programme is delivered in partnership by Northumberland County Council's youth service team and is open to all 16 to 17-year-olds. The initiative brings together young people from different backgrounds and helps them to develop greater confidence, self-awareness and responsibility by working on skills like leadership, teamwork and communication.
As part of the programme, young people take part in the Northumberland Challenge - a series of missions including 20 hours of volunteer work, organising an enterprise activity or fund-raising event, taking part in an outdoor or sporting activity, and visiting a historical or cultural attraction.
Choosing young people's mental wellbeing as their theme, this year's participants worked on projects such as a leaflet to raise awareness of internet safety, a midnight half-marathon walk raising £200 and promoting exercise as a way of improving wellbeing, and a music event that brought together over 100 young people and adults from across the county, succeeding in raising £416 for the charity Young Minds.
Coun Robert Arckless, cabinet member for children’s services at Northumberland County Council, said: "I'm delighted to see young people in Northumberland taking part in initiatives such as the National Citizen Service and the Northumberland Challenge.
"The programme allows them to learn a huge variety of important life skills, to gain new experiences, engage with the community, and make a real difference to their local area. I'd like to congratulate everyone who graduated on all their hard work."
The NCS programme continues throughout the year with places available to start in July, August and October. For more information and to register interest, contact NCSYouthService@northumberland.gov.uk