East Durham College Summer of a Lifetime students at Peterlee's Sunshine Nursery

Summer of a Lifetime Success

Sun, 2001-09-23 01:00

A group of local young people really did have a summer to remember this year.

The group of 30 Year 11 and Year 12 pupils were given the chance to join the Summer of a Lifetime programme that was run in Peterlee by East Durham College.

College Community Officer Tina Lavelle explains: “Summer of a Lifetime is designed to give young people the opportunity to develop new skills, meet new people, make a difference to their local community, be challenged and most of all, have fun!”

The 7-week Summer of a Lifetime programme is part of the National Citizen Service Programme, which is a Big Society initiative, supporting young people from all backgrounds to work together, take on new challenges, have fun and engage in their communities - making lifelong friends along the way.

As part of the programme the group renovated an unkempt area within Sunshine Nursery, in Peterlee, and turned it into a sensory garden and fantastic play area for the young children to enjoy.

Also, working with Natural England, the young volunteers helped to clear overgrown meadows to enable people to gain access to an area of Castle Eden Dene and helping to improve the local environment.

Lisa Teneur, who worked alongside Tina to run the programme, added: “They also got to have some fun too, spending a week’s residential at Bewerley Park, near Ripon, taking part in activities such as canoeing, gorge walking and abseiling.”

The successful students came together last week, with their friends and family, for a graduation event, held in The Lubetkin Theatre at the College.

Easington MP Grahame Morris also attended the ceremony and was on hand to present the graduation certificates.

The Labour MP said: “I would like to say thank you to the College not just for hosting the graduation event but for the whole programme.

“It’s wonderful to see so many positive images on display. I often hear from people who have a negative image of young people, they really should come along and see some of the great things that are happening in our own community.

“As a member of Parliament I’ve learnt that there are two things money can’t buy, one is friendship and the other is life experiences. So I do hope the young people from Peterlee and Hartlepool and surrounding areas on this programme have made some new friends and gained some positive life experiences.”

College Vice Principal Sally Hudson added: “The group has worked very hard and have been hugely committed to the project.

“The work they have done has made a huge contribution to the local community.

“The projects at Sunshine Nursery and in the Castle Eden Dene will have left them both a little brighter, leaving a lasting legacy for local people in the area to enjoy - and all credit to the team on that work and effort.”

If you are currently in Year 11 or 12 and would like to join the 2013 Summer of a Lifetime next July please contact Tina Lavelle or Lisa Teneur for more details on 0191 518 8220.