A team of community-minded North Tyneside teenagers have spent time giving back to charity with a series of innovative projects, including the ‘takeover’ of a Whitley Bay restaurant and 100-mile cycle-thon.

Aiming to raise much-needed funds for the Cedarwood Trust, a pastoral care charity based on the Meadow Well Estate in North Shields, one team of 15 youngsters spending part of their summer holidays doing National Citizen Service (NCS) have been busy putting their new-found skills to good use.

Thousands of savvy Tyneside teenagers are currently spending their summer holidays taking part in NCS, a flagship government initiative that provides young people aged 15-17 the chance to take on new challenges and experience exciting activities.

Following a week of outdoor adventure and a university-style skills-building stay, participants are tasked with designing a social action project aimed at making a real difference to the community.

Choosing to benefit the Cedarwood Trust, the team, supported by NCS Team Leader Jo Cooney and Team Assistant Phoebe Hedley, have spent a week conducting various charitable endeavours, including a 100 mile cycle-thon fundraiser at The Parks Leisure Centre and putting together care packages for the Trust’s users.

The team also ‘took over’ the running of Evan’s Bistro in Whitley Bay for an evening, inviting family, friends and members of the public to book a table, with all tips going towards their cause. The group served dishes to diners and provided entertainment and live music.

16 year old James Malley, from Seaton Sluice, said: “Large charities often receive lots of help, so we wanted instead to support a local charity and the community around us. The Cedarwood Trust act as a Foodbank, as well as helping people with all the basic commodities that the community needs.

“I’ve met lots of new people and everyone has got on really well.”

NCS Team Leader Jo Cooney said: “I’m really proud that the team have achieved so much during their week of social action.

“When they started NCS four weeks ago, they were a shy bunch of teens, from several different schools, meeting each other for the first time. Now, they’re all confident young adults who have made a real difference, and built some incredible skills along the way.”

NCS is a flagship government initiative that provides young people aged 15-17 the chance to take on new challenges, experience exciting activities, make long-lasting friendships and develop vital skills that will support them later in life. It was launched to tackle three core issues of importance to society: social cohesion, social mobility and social engagement.

Over 500,000 young people have completed the NCS programme to date, giving over 12 and half million hours to social action projects since NCS started.

To find out more about NCS, including how to take part, go to www.ncsyes.co.uk. Teenagers who missed out this summer have the chance to take part in NCS during the autumn half-term.