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Teenagers show their respects by cleaning Darlington war graves
A GROUP of teenagers gave their time to clean and revive dozens of war graves in a North East cemetery.
The 12 young people scrubbed moss and lichen from more than 100 gravestones and planted flowers as a mark of respect.
The group took part in the National Citizenship Scheme across the summer and chose to complete their final project, for Lasting Legacy Day, in West Cemetery, in Darlington, as a tribute to the town’s war heroes.
They were helped by members of the Darlington branch of the Royal British Legion, who stepped in after hearing about their plans.
Ellie Jenkinson, 16, who will start studying for her A-levels at Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College this week, said the team wanted to pay their respects.
She said: “West Cemetery has the largest number of war graves in Darlington, more than 190. About 50 of them are in a special section and are really well cared for by the council but the rest are dotted about the grounds, so you really have to look for them.
“I thought it went really well, it looks much nicer now. Having the British Legion to help was great.”
The flowers for the project were donated by Darlington recruitment company Populus Select, where Ellie’s mother, Kerry, works.
Populus Select managing director Sim Hall said: “When Kerry explained what her daughter’s group was doing, I immediately wanted to help them.
“I think that when a group of young people develop this sort of initiative, it’s really important that they get some support from the local business community.”
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