Youngsters at a Durham youth project have got that sinking feeling – and they absolutely love it.

 

Scuba diving was the top choice of teenagers attending the Sacriston Youth Project (SYP) when they were asked to pick an exciting new activity.

 

Now, a group of eight boys – aged 13 to 15 – are undergoing training at the Freemans’ Quay Leisure Centre with the Durham City Diving School.

 

They are preparing for a trip to the Lake District during the school summer holiday to complete the open water element of the course – with the help of a £500 donation from Partner Construction, which is building homes for affordable rent in Sacriston.

 

The group will attend the Capernwray Diving Centre – home to some of UK’s finest inland diving, with crystal clear water, amazing fish life and attractions such as sunken boats, planes and even a helicopter.

 

Ben Thornton, 14, of Westwood View, Sacriston, said: “We chose diving because we thought it would be a good experience and fun too. It is hard, especially the theory but I am really enjoying it.  When I have my qualification, I want to go abroad and see the range of underwater wildlife.”

 

Graeme Walton, Contracts Manager at Partner added: “We always like to do something to support the communities in which we work.  When we started building in Sacriston it wasn’t long before we heard about the great work being done at the local youth project.

 

“We were delighted to be able to help pay for the open water scuba course to complete their training. I’m sure they’ll have great fun.”

 

County Councillor Heather Liddle is also chair of the youth project. She said: “At SYP we do things differently and offer opportunities to young people that they might not normally get the chance to try. Our innovative and creative youth workers continuously encourage our members to aim high and think outside the box when it comes to choosing activities.

 

“We are very grateful to Durham City Scuba Ltd for the substantial discount they offered, which along with other funding partners enabled this costly project to go ahead. The additional support from Partner will help pay for the trip to Capernwray which is a huge boost and we thank the company very much for the backing.”

 

Partner recently joined the Fastflow Group – a provider of infrastructure maintenance and improvement services to the water, gas and property maintenance sectors with an annual turnover of £80 million. Based in Spennymoor and with an office in Derby, Partner has completed over 2,000 new houses on 82 sites across the UK over the past seven years.