Teenagers have been busy clearing rubbish from Littlehampton beach to help raise awareness of recycling.
The group of 14 young people has been taking part in the National Citizen Service programme, which includes a section requiring social action.
Known as Team 4, the group organised a beach clean-up yesterday, followed by a gathering for community refreshments.
Joined by friends and volunteers from the town, team members went from Harbour Park to East Beach Cafe on the beach, then back along the seafront and on to Seafront Greens, collecting about eight bags of rubbish in total.
Eleanor Lowes, 16, said: “We were on Littlehampton beach for a few hours collecting litter and raising awareness of the need to recycle and not drop litter. We found less than we thought but there were others who had been clearing up earlier in the day.
“We wanted to encourage the local community to protect the environment and also to express the importance of recycling.”
Team members said they found many bottle tops, crisp packets and tissues – and quite a few socks.
The team sorted out some of what they collected to use to build a statue.
Eleanor explained: “The statue will be used to show how much rubbish is left on the beach.
“The idea is to move it around West Sussex to raise awareness. It is something after this that will be a legacy. We are thinking about building an octopus or maybe a turtle.”
The beach clean was the final part of the team’s four-week programme. It started with an activity week on the Isle of Wight, including learning lifeguarding skills, followed by a week at the University of Chichester’s Bognor Regis campus, where the young people attended talks on life skills and took part in team building exercises.
Evie Carter, 16, said: “If you don’t have an adventurous family life or you just never do things like this, it is a great opportunity. We have done lots of different things, like kayaking. Everyone get pushed in different ways and everyone was able to try different things.”
Eleanor added: “You do activities that take you out of your comfort zone”