A GROUP of teenagers who made it their mission to change the perception of young people have been nominated for an award.
Members of Horsley Hill Young Person’s Group were worried about the way the community viewed them and decided to something about it.
As part of this, they undertook fire safety and crime prevention training with the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service and Northumbria Police, then passed on what they had learned to groups of elderly people.
Now they have been nominated in the Safer Neighbourhoods category in this year’s Pride of South Tyneside Awards.
The group was nominated by fire brigade watch manager Ray Houghton.
Mr Houghton, who is responsible for fire prevention and education at South Tyneside East Community Fire Station in John Reid Road, South Shields, said: “The training was delivered as part of Christmas parties the group organised and took part in.
“They also delivered a powerpoint presentation, gave out advice and personal safety alarms, and took part in role-play scenarios to present the safety information.
“The sessions these young people organised and delivered were well received by the groups of older people they worked with.
“We have presented the group with fire safety certificates and are so impressed with the project and the innovative way it delivers fire safety training. They want to take the idea to other places in the area.”
Geordie Pearce, the group’s senior youth worker, said: “In light of what the group have been through in the past year or so, I’m really proud of them for being nominated and getting this far.
“There’s been a lot of friction between the younger and older generation in Horsley Hill, but our group knew they weren’t the main cause of the anti-social behaviour and did want to do something about it.
“They’ve really turned things around and they’ve done a lot of good for themselves and the community by doing it.”