Teenagers help to clean up a County Durham estate
Published by Ailsa Macmillan for Cestria Community Housing in Housing and also in Communities
Front row, from left: Darren Petty Cestria Community Caretaker, Shane Henderson, Kieran Lamb and apprentice John Charleton. Back row, from left: Tutor Laura Murrell from the Foundation of Light Back on Track, Adam Hindmarch, John Gray Cestria Grounds Main
Five teenagers have helped to clean up an estate in County Durham as part of a scheme run by local a housing provider.
Cestria Community Housing, which runs and manages homes in and around Chester-le-Street showed the teenagers, aged 16 to 19 what working as a Community Caretaker is like by cleaning the Gibside estate.
The teenagers carried out the work as part of the ‘Back on Track’ programme run by the Foundation of Light, which helps 16-19 year olds gain work in the future and is supported by Cestria.
Michael Hall, Grounds Maintenance Manager at Cestria Community Housing, said: “This was a perfect opportunity to clean up the shops for the owners in Gibside.
“It’s giving them a bit of a taste of what we do and provides a nice service for the local residents. The kids did an amazing job!”
The Community Caretakers at Cestria maintain the grounds of all their properties by cutting grass, shrub bed maintenance, path edging and tree cutting.
As part of the clean-up, the teenagers jet washed paths, cleaned shop fronts, weeded and litter picked.
The ‘Back on Track: Study Programme’ gives young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) the chance to learn job related skills and to gain qualifications. It is free to participants and the programme runs two and a half days a week for 30 weeks.
David Laidler, Foundation of Light Back on Track Educational Officer, said: “We are very grateful to Cestria for giving the learners this opportunity to experience a real-life work situation.
“All of the learners have managed to acquire new skills and this opportunity has given them a taste of what employment is all about. They all thoroughly enjoyed themselves, with some now wanting to pursue a career in this field.”
Cestria continues to support the work that the Foundation of Light does in a positive way, which has helped increase, the aspirations of many youngsters in the local community.
‘Back on Track’ is one of a host of similar sport and education-based programmes, which are run by the Foundation of Light and benefit more than tens of thousands of young people and their families across the North East every year.
Participants on the programme are given lunch money and their travel expenses are reimbursed.
Course participants work towards a variety of qualifications including a BTEC Level 2 in Personal Social Development, improve English and Maths up to a Level 2 and gain valuable work experience.
For further information, please contact David Laidler at the Foundation of Light on 0191 551 5319 or firstname.lastname@example.org