TEENAGERS from Hartlepool are set to overcome fresh challenges in a new initiative as part of the Government’s Big Society idea.
Sixteen-year-olds from the town have signed up to take part in the National Citizen Service (NCS) which is being piloted in Teesside.
Supermarket Asda has teamed up with Cleveland Police with a generous £24,000 grant towards the scheme.
The cash boost will pay for food and household goods when youngsters live in youth clubs, schools and other community buildings for a week.
They will get to load up trolleys in Asda stores including Marina Way, Hartlepool.
They will also plan and develop a social action project to help their community.
Christine Davidson, from Cleveland Police, said: “The support from Asda has been amazing, £24,000 is a tremendous amount and I would like to thank them for getting involved.
“I know the young people are just as excited for filling up their trolleys as they are for the residential, as it gives them a sense of independence and freedom.
“NCS has been extremely popular, we have had some great feedback so far and I’m sure this will continue.”
The voluntary programme also includes three weeks of full time activities plus 30 hours part-time completed over a number of weeks.
Organisers say those taking part can expect to overcome new challenges and develop qualities that will prove valuable for getting a job or further education.
In all, 1,000 16-year-olds from Redcar, Hartlepool, Stockton and Middlesbrough are taking part in the initiative.
It is being led locally by Safe in Tees Valley with support from partners including local councils, Cleveland Police, young people’s services, the Tall Ships Youth Trust, Zenith Leisure and voluntary agencies.