Young women from South Shields impress on Hadrian's Wall challenge
Young women from South Shields took part in a special hike to mark the 85th anniversary of a North East youth organisation.
NE Youth – formerly Northumberland Boys Clubs/Clubs for Young People – started out more than eight decades ago, and is one of the region’s leading youth development charities, supporting young people and youth organisations in the communities where they live and work.
Bright Futures, which works to improve the prospects of young women aged between 11 and 25, decided to help mark the occasion by walking a section of Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland.
Helen Bowman and Nicola Whalen from Bright Futures said: “We asked the young people who regularly attend our evening provision and free fitness session if they were up for it, and in total we had 12 young people and two volunteers taking part.
"At Bright Futures we understand the importance of young people having access to activities that will promote positive health and well-being for them, and so to train for this challenge we set up a weekly walking group."
The group took part in practice walks, walking five-to-six miles each time, and the young members were issued with comfortable walking boots thanks to a successful funding application.
Helen and Nicola said: “Initially we set up practice walks to train for the challenge however identified during these walks other issues the young people were facing and how we could further support them, and had a great response from them stating it helped clear their minds, a safe space to talk, a chance to make new friends and explore their community.
"As well as weekly walk, the group took part in a team building activity at Clarty Bairns, a fun mud run that definitely got the group motivated and empowered for the challenge.”
The Hadrian’s Wall challenge set off from Newburn Leisure Centre and followed a nine-mile section of the wall.
Helen and Nicola said the group of young people were all involved in Bright Futures’ ‘Girls Standing Up’ project, a social action project working to empower and stand up for women and girls in their community.
"This definitely shone through during our training and challenge,” they said. We’re already looking for our next challenge and the young people have expressed this something they would love to continue with.”