COMMUNITY-conscious teenagers raised more than £300 and spent four days weeding and tidying the premises of the Altrincham's Counselling and Family Centre.

From Altrincham Grammar School for Boys, Wellington School, Altrincham College of Arts and Ashton-on-Mersey High School, the 13-strong team chose to support the centre in Mayors Road as part of their National Citizen Service.

Team member, 16-year-old Monty Harrison-Stirling, from Altrincham Grammar School for Boys, said: “The centre’s been at the heart of the Altrincham community for 40 years and last year helped almost 900 people struggling with emotional and mental health issues.

"The centre’s work resonated with our team as many young people are affected by issues such as self esteem, bullying, family breakups, depression, bereavement, for which the Centre provides counselling and support.”

Students raised funds for the charity by securing online donations, pitching to a ‘Dragons Den’ event at the BBC, and completing a full marathon in fancy dress in Stamford Park.

They approached local businesses for support in supplying or discounting garden tools, paints and plants and then spent four days working to transform the gardens as well as paint several rooms at the Centre.

Libby Silverwood from Wellington High School said: “We’ve cut back six foot high brambles and cleared overgrown bushes at the rear of the building, weeded and filled tubs with flowers and bulbs, painted the meeting room and toilets inside the Centre. We’re really pleased with our efforts and also rather muddy, paint splattered and tired!”

Jo Allen, manager of the Counselling and Family Centre said: “We’re absolutely delighted the young people chose our charity. Their enthusiasm and determination to make a difference and brighten the gardens surrounding the Centre and our inside rooms, has been inspirational.”

NCS is a voluntary four week programme for 15–17 year olds in England and Northern Ireland, funded largely by government money. Young people experience a week at an outdoor activity centre and a week living as students, before they spend a fortnight planning, fund-raising and delivering a community action project.