In an effort to break stereotypes and give back to the community, groups of teenagers have been volunteering, visiting care homes and raising money for charity.
District4 is a group of 16-year-olds taking part in the National Citizen Service, a four-week programme of activities to develop their skills and confidence, including 30 hours of voluntary work and a social action project.
On Friday, their very last day on the programme, the group set off from Harbour Park, in Windmill Road, Littlehampton, for a ten-mile trek to Ferring and back, in the rain, to raise money for Victim Support, which helps people affected by crime.
Group member Jade Wadey, 16, said: “The whole project was about the community. We found out during surveys there was a lot of concern about violence.
“We wondered what we can do to help victims of crime. Victim Support is a charity that needs to be more acknowledged, so we chose to raise money for it.”
The group also spent some of their volunteering time at Oakland Grange care home in St Floras Road, Littlehampton, filling the garden with plants donated by Walberton Nursery, where one of the young people has a part-time job.
District4 team leader Dave McMahon said: “The care home was really pleased with the visit. They said they wish the group could come back every week.”
Visits to the care home also included playing games with the residents, performing on the piano and joining in with scheduled activities.
Jade said: “These days were aimed to show that the stereotypes of young people are completely untrue and that we indeed do want to help change the perspective of people in the community.”
The group has a JustGiving page for people who want to donate to their efforts online.
A petition has been set up by members of District4 after hearing funding may be diverted from National Citizen Service to youth groups, as the team feel nothing like the programme would be available to young people as a result of this.