£500 donation

Catcote School Business and Enterprise College students ((rear left to right) Aaron Tumilty, Brent Oliver and Brogan Stabler with teacher Paul Sowerby also (front left to right) Denim Bigwood and Keanen Phillips after they present a cheque for �500 to Hartlepool Families First members (centre left to right) Linda Howlett, Kirsty Buttery, Jake Featherstone and Pauline Bratt. Picture by FRANK REID
Catcote School Business and Enterprise College students ((rear left to right) Aaron Tumilty, Brent Oliver and Brogan Stabler with teacher Paul Sowerby also (front left to right) Denim Bigwood and Keanen Phillips after they present a cheque for �500 to Hartlepool Families First members (centre left to right) Linda Howlett, Kirsty Buttery, Jake Featherstone and Pauline Bratt. Picture by FRANK REID

GENEROUS students have handed over £500 to a charity project.

Youngsters from Catcote School Business and Enterprise College, in Catcote Road, handed over the money to the Hartlepool Families First Street project, which is aimed at people with special needs.

The donation was possible after the school won a national competition, organised by the Citizenship Foundation, for giving something back to the community after pupils from Catcote volunteered their time at Yohden Care Home, in Blackhall.

One of the prizes was a charity voucher to give to a charity of their choice.

The students arranged games, built rock gardens, bird houses and made arts and crafts with the residents.

Paul Sowerby, teacher at the school, said: “Just speaking to and being with the residents was a great experience for both the pupils and residents.

“We chose Families First’s Street Project as it is a local charity who cater for young people and also those who require extra support due to various factors.

“Many of Catcote’s own pupils access the services they offer, so it is also going towards supporting them outside of our school.”

The Street project - which stands for Supporting, Training, Raising Expectations, and Empowering Teenagers - is a unique service which supports young people in Hartlepool.

Group leaders say it is a befriending service, held at the One77 centre, in York Road, on a Monday and Thursday night, 5pm until 8.30pm, and is a safe social environment for individuals often with special needs and requirements to interact and socialise.

Independent councillor Paul Thompson, manager of Hartlepool Families First, said: “We aim to give young people the essential support and encouragement to help them overcome issues with social skills, self esteem and emotional trauma.

“Everyone at Street is understanding and supportive of each others situation.

“With the help of our highly skilled support workers and volunteers we try to build on friendship, social skills, and confidence.

“We do this by encouraging the young people to participate in numerous fun activities including playing on the Nintendo Wii, cooking, computing and watching DVDs, in an effort to restore their confidence and guide them on to the right path.”