YOUNG volunteers showed the spirit of Christmas by donating to their local food bank and cleaning up Redcar beach.

The 16 and 17-year-olds completed a programme of courses to gain nationally-recognised volunteering qualifications, after Cleveland Fire Brigade linked up with the National Citizen Service.

As part of their work they held a supermarket bag packing day to raise money to donate items to the Redcar Food Bank.

They also took part in a litter sweep of Redcar beach to make it a cleaner and safer environment for everyone.

The volunteers are all from the Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council area and the programme, which included residential outdoor activities in the Lake District and a series of presentations by a variety of organisations, was organised by Cleveland Fire Brigade’s Youth Engagement Team.

David Bowmer, youth development coordinator at the brigade, said: “The volunteers realise that unfortunately some people need a little extra help to make sure they have a happier Christmas and were very keen to support the Food Bank which does outstanding work.

"On top of this, with all the national debate surrounding the dangers of plastic and other litter on beaches, they had no hesitation to go out and remove unwanted debris from Redcar beach, all entirely on their own initiative."