SCHOOLGIRLS enjoyed a tea party with a twist to celebrate the culmination of a successful campaign to boost confidence and promote inner beauty.

For the last three months, female pupils from Woodham Academy and Greenfield Community College in Newton Aycliffe have been working together on the Through the Looking Glass project.

It has seen the girls work alongside expert health blogger Laura Agar-Wilson, of Uniquely Healthy, and carry out a range of feel-good activities designed to encourage a positive and healthy attitude to food, body image and exercise.

And today (Monday, March 31), the pupils celebrated everything they have gained from the project at a special tea party at Hardwick Hall Hotel, near Sedgefield.

Katy Milne, of Greenfield Arts, which directed the project using funding from Great Aycliffe and Middridge Partnership, said: "We want to encourage the girls to celebrate and feel good about themselves.

"There is a lot of pressure on young women to look a certain way and we want them to realise that we come in all shapes and sizes."

To spread the message that all food is fine so long as it is part of a balanced diet, the girls turned the tea party menu on its head, serving savoury muffins, sweet sandwiches and fruit smoothies from a teapot.

Guests were also given a goodie bag containing pamper products and healthy treats.

Greenfield pupil Tanisha Waters,15, said the experience had been "empowering."

Her friend, Aicha Krasik, 16, added: "I think a lot of us worry about how we look and what we eat.

"This has shown us that it is ok to treat yourself sometimes and we don't have to feel bad about it."