Youngsters give a helping hand

Laura McKernan (right) with the volunteers who are helping to do up the Hartlepool Carers Centre in York Road
Laura McKernan (right) with the volunteers who are helping to do up the Hartlepool Carers Centre in York Road

DEDICATED youngsters are giving a helping hand as they work towards achieving a national qualification.

Six town teenagers are spending their summer completing the National Citizen Service (NCS) scheme, a project giving youngsters the chance to enjoy a number of challenges and achieve a qualification equivalent to one GCSE.

Amber Hornsey, Megan Popplewell, Georgia Bunton, Alice Marshall, Claire Walker and Sheree Martin, who are all aged between 15 and 17 and from Hartlepool, have already enjoyed an outward bound course in North Yorkshire and a week of independent living at Rossmere Youth Centre.

But now they are dedicating their time to help the staff and carers at Hartlepool Young Carers.

The teenagers are carrying out a number of roles at the charity’s base, in Lowthian Road, including painting corridors and canvases, designing murals and working outside.

Steve Plant, a family support worker for young carers, said the charity is extremely grateful for the help of the youngsters.

He said: “It’s youth putting something back in to a youth project and it’s nice to see them going that extra mile.

“They are doing a great job and we really do appreciate it.”

Laura McKernan, an NCS team leader, said: “We are working with Hartlepool Young Carers for around four weeks.

“The youngsters who are taking part in the scheme have all been very keen and motivated and the main thing is they are enjoying themselves.

“It’s all voluntary work and and at the end of the course they will all receive a Gold ASDAN award, which is the equivalent to one GCSE and looks great on a CV.”

Laura added: “We went on an outward bound course where we all took part in mountain biking and hiking.

“That was challenging, but they all did very well.

“The second week was independent living and the youngsters were learning about budgeting.”