The teenagers on a mission to clean up South Shields beaches - and how you can help

A group of teenagers volunteered to spend some of their holidays cleaning up beaches in a bid to help the environment and make the beauty spots safer. Now they are encouraging others to do the same.

Wednesday, 31st July 2019, 4:54 pm
Updated Friday, 2nd August 2019, 12:07 pm
NCS volunteers on Sandhaven Beach, South Shields, as part of their clean up campaign.

The 14 young people, aged between 15 and 17, ran the ‘Beachy Clean’ project over two weeks in July, as part of the National Citizen Service (NCS) programme.

They organised three successful beach cleans in South Shields, one at Marsden Beach on July 26, and two at Sandhaven Beach on July 23 and July 29. Over the three days they managed to fill several bags full of rubbish and distressingly, even found a dead turtle washed up on Marsden Beach.

The group, which is made up of students from Harton Academy in South Shields and Whitburn Church of England Academy, also took part in a sponsored walk which raised £150 to buy equipment for the project.

They have now left litter picks at local businesses, including The Rattler on Sea Road, to encourage other members of the community to continue keeping the beaches clean.

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The young people planned and carried out the project by themselves, supervised by two team leaders from Headliners, which delivers the NCS programme in Newcastle and South Tyneside.

The scheme aims to give young people the opportunity to prepare for their futures and work on their personal development through a series of challenging activities, and supports them to design and deliver their own social action projects in their communities.

A Headliners team leader said: “The young people decided to run a project on clearing up the beaches to make making it a better, cleaner site for young people to spend time and for families to enjoy.

“They loved it and they really took ownership of the project. In just 10 days they did everything, including coming up with the idea, finalising it, setting up social media, and putting everything together.

“We are incredibly proud of the young people and all they have achieved in such a short space of time. The project may be finished now but they are hoping the community will continue it.”