A training organisation is celebrating after providing 40 years of training for children.
Springboard North East, which has training centres in Sunderland, South Tyneside, Peterlee and Hartlepool, was first set up in 1975.
Now, 40 years on, more than 35,000 young people in the North East have undertaken training and apprenticeships with the charity.
And it continues to go from strength to strength.
To mark the special occasion the Mayor of Sunderland, Coun Barry Curran, cut a commemorative cake, helped by children from the Springboard Nursery.
He said: “It’s a particular pleasure to see so many young people learning here at Springboard and to see some of the wide range of things they are doing, and to hear about their plans for the future.
“The city depends on developing and encouraging our young people to be ambitious for themselves, and for Sunderland, and it really is wonderful to see young people happy and determined to progress.”
Springboard has succeeded by providing personalised training programmes to its learners in an environment that promotes fun and learning as part of training for elderly and childcare related occupations, technical skills, environmental schemes and community development.
Denise Wilson, Trust Secretary of Springboard North East, said: “We are so proud of what we have achieved over the past 40 years and how we have helped many thousands of young people from the local area take the first steps to a brighter future.
“Our emphasis is not just to develop the vocational skills of youngsters, but to help develop them as people.
“It is amazing how many former learners I meet on a weekly basis who have previously undertaken training here, which really underlines how important the organisation is to the local community.”
As part of its 40th anniversary celebrations, Springboard Sunderland is encouraging former learners to get in touch via its Facebook page or Twitter at @SpringboardNE to share their memories and photos from past years.
Springboard is also celebrating one year as a fully independent organisation.