The group of 17 and 18 year-olds have already completed their four-week National Citizen Service (NCS), the government's flagship youth programme, which aims to help young people develop new skills, meet new people and contribute to a community project. However, the 15 teenagers opted to celebrate this year's NCS Action Day by coming together once again to help transform the outside play and learning area at Knowsley Lane Primary School.
"We spent several hours tidying the garden, painting wooden furniture and cutting back overgrown bushes," said 18-year-old Holly Griffiths-Jones. "It was hard, physical work, but working as a group we made a real difference, and I think the children who attend this school will be really surprised with the result!
"I had such a great time when I took part in my NCS programme and wanted to stay in touch by helping at this year's Action Day," added Holly. "It's looked like a tough job when we started, but working together we've really transformed an area of the school grounds that hasn't been touched for years."
Holly, who attends Birkenhead Sixth Form College, graduated from NCS in 2015, but has decided to help make the scheme even better. She has signed up to the NCS Regional Youth Board, which meets several times each year to help shape NCS programmes for other young people who are yet to experience the scheme.
Knowsley Community College student Grace Humphrey, 17, also helped tidy up the school's garden by trimming overgrown bushes and bringing fencing back to life with a lick of paint.
"I really enjoyed my NCS course and discovered a lot about myself, as well as experiencing loads of different activities and learning new skills," she said. "Hopefully some of these have been put to good use today and the children here will be able to enjoy all the facilities to the full."
NCS is delivered in Merseyside by employment, health and skills specialists Ingeus, working in partnership with Everton in the Community, the official charity of Everton Football Club.
"Our young people today have worked hard and made such a difference, but they've also had great fun," said Annemarie Longden from Ingeus, who coordinated the day. "The aim of the day was for young people, who have already benefited from taking part in NCS, to come back together and chose another project they wanted to support. This group opted to tackle a job which is right at the heart of their community and, in doing so, are helping tell other young people about the great experience they could have by getting involved in NCS."
NCS offers a unique opportunity for fun, adventure and discovery and is open to all 16- to 17-year-olds for no more than £50. For more information visit www.ncsingeus.co.uk