A GROUP of Prince’s Trust students will be crossing swords with shoppers in Darlington to teach them the basics of fencing.

Visitors to the town will be invited to take part in mini fencing master classes in the town centre run by the nine unemployed students.

The students are taking part in a 12-week development scheme with the Prince’s Trust, delivered by Stockton Riverside College, which aims to build their skills and improve their confidence when looking for a job.

Team member James O’Hara, from Darlington, took part in the scheme – named the Prince’s Trust Team programme - after becoming unemployed.

He has since secured an apprentice teaching assistant role to start when the programme finishes.

“Team so far has been great and it has given me the opportunity to do a lot of things I wouldn’t otherwise have done,” he said.

The team has joined forces with Street Swords - a Darlington-based organisation aimed at bringing fencing to the North-East - to teach the young people the basics of the sport and learn how to pass them on.

Darlington team leader, Katrine Davidson, said: “People of all ages and abilities are welcome to come and learn the basics of fencing. We hope that people will come along and get involved.”

Sessions will be held in Darlington market square from 11am to 3pm on Thursday (July 24) and at Joseph Pease Place from 11am to 2pm on Friday (July 25).