A GROUP of 11 young people who were schooled at both the Community College Bishop's Castle and Church Stretton School have been participating in National Citizen Service for four weeks.

This is a summer programme for 15-17-year-olds that aims to develop personal skills and help them to meet new people, while building up their CVs.

For the first week the group travelled to PGL Liddington, to enjoy adventurous outdoor activities. In the second, they were accommodated in Staffordshire University, in Stoke-on-Trent, where they built on life skills such as confidence, leadership and communication.

Then for the last two weeks, they were based in Bishop's Castle, where they had to make a difference to the community by completing a charitable project which is called Social Action.

For their Social Action they decided to challenge themselves to a hike from Church Stretton to Clun, which was approximately 20 miles. It took the group from 11am until 8:30pm to complete the hike.

The whole idea is to raise money for the charity Dog Samaritans, which is close to all of the young people’s hearts.

Dog Samaritans is the rehoming branch of Animal Samaritans Midlands Trust.

They are a small, local dog rescue based in south Shropshire which has been established for over 25 years and is run almost entirely by unpaid volunteers.

As they have no kennels of their own they use commercial boarding kennels located between Bishop's Castle and Minsterley for their rescue dogs, as well as foster homes.

In total the group raised £665 for Dog Samaritans after all of their hard work and also produced a hamper full of treats and toys for the rescue dogs to enjoy.

The group would like to say a massive thank you to Britpart for sponsoring them £100, Duncan Baker (Lydbury North English Centre) for providing the group with refreshments, and to everyone who donated on their Just Giving page.