STUDENTS have been showing their mettle in a trial designed to test their resolve.

More than 20 students from South Shields School have been working towards their bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award in a challenge that will boost their future prospects.

The initiative has seen them complete a gruelling expedition at Kielder in Northumberland, including camping and an 18-mile hike with full packs, as well as developing skills in a range of activities, from sport to volunteering.

Meghan Reeves, 14, said: “The expedition was tough but we did feel a real sense of achievement when it was completed. I have also been a time-keeper at a judo competition and I am doing cookery at home.”

Thomas Elliott, 14, added: “The scheme has been brilliant at opening up new opportunities and will look really great on our CVs and personal statements.”

Other students have been volunteering at the local Salvation Army shop and helping younger children get to grips with a climbing wall.

Headteacher Allie Denholm said: “It’s the first time our students have been involved with the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme and we are really proud of what they have achieved so far.

“The first group will move on to their silver award and we are really excited to get the next tranche coming through for bronze.”