Hundreds of teenagers from across the Fylde coast are celebrating after being hailed as the best crop of youngsters to pass through a popular citizenship scheme.
The 16 and 17-year-olds helped raise thousands of pounds for good causes as part of the 30-hour programme aimed at giving them key life skills.
Around 300 young people were grouped into 25 teams before taking part in adventurous team-building exercises, as well as community projects, as part of the National Citizen Service scheme.
After completing the course, organised by Fylde Coast YMCA, they were rewarded with certificates – signed by David Cameron – at a graduation ceremony at the Marine Hall, in Fleetwood.
Carly Llewellyn-Ryan, NCS Co-ordinator for Fylde Coast YMCA, said: “This is a real celebration of the success of these young adults who have worked very hard to give their age group a positive image.
“With 300 participants across 25 teams, working with the support of over 50 staff, we’ve had our biggest and most successful year yet.
“By coming together, many as strangers, the teens have overcome many challenges as they shape themselves as young adults.”
The youths spent five days at YMCA Lakeside in Windermere before reuniting at student accommodation at either Rossall School or the University of Cumbria, where they worked on skills to enhance their CVs. They also helped raise money for charities including Easterleigh Animal Sanctuary, the Willow Garden Project, Wyre Estuary Country Park and RNLI Fleetwood.
Projects included bingo, sponsored walks and litter picking.
Scheme aims to give the teens essential life skills
The National Citizen Service scheme, for youths aged 16 and 17, is split into three stages. First, youngsters are sent on a week-long “adventure” at an outdoor activity centre, where they will meet their new team mates. The second phase involves staying in university-style accommodation, where the teens are taught personal skills that will enhance their CVs. They then take part in a social action project that benefits the local community, before being invited to a graduation ceremony.