During the tail end of 2020 teenagers in Hartlepool were out in force, dedicating time helping to support their local community through social action projects, while also learning new skills and boosting their CVs.

The teens were able to volunteer by signing up to NCS (National Citizen Service), which is delivered locally by Hartlepool United Community Sports Foundation (HUCSF) as part of their work with the EFL Trust.

The team of 16-17 year olds decided that they wanted to raise awareness of the work HUCSF does for the town.

The teenagers came up with the idea of placing pinecones around Hartlepool for people to find. Attached to each pinecone is a blue and white ribbon and information about what the charity is doing to help the community.

Joe Lawson, age 16 from Hartlepool, said: “We hope this social action initiative will get people out enjoying fresh air during lockdowns, putting their minds to something fun on our Hartlepool pinecone hunt. There are even five pine cones that are exchangeable for a prize.

“HUCSF has supported the local community through these challenging months, bringing people together. This project is a great way to connect people and we’d encourage families to get involved in this fun project.

“From completing NCS I have made new friends, increased my confidence and feel proud that we were still able to work together and raise awareness during the pandemic.”

NCS teams in Hartlepool have also been raising money for Alice House and have been fundraising and raising awareness for a new community fridge initiative coming to the town, Pools Perishables.

Tracy Gatiss, NCS Coordinator at HUCSF, said: “I am extremely proud of the young people who gave up their time to give back to the community. They are an amazing group of people and Hartlepool should be proud.”

For more information on NCS, visit wearencs.com.