CHILDREN from across the region are being given a prize-winning chance to make a real difference to their communities.

Northumbrian Water has launched its Making Waves competition, aimed at youngsters aged between nine and 16, from Berwick to North Yorkshire.

Teams of children, from three to 30 youngsters, are invited to think about and implement an environmental or community project they would like to do in school, a youth club or the comm-unity.

Making Waves is a new version of Northumbrian Water's Square Mile Project, which ran from 1993.

Entrants into the competition will have the chance to win prizes including action- packed holidays in the UK and Europe and the opportunity to be a firefighter for the day.

Sir Fred Holliday, Northumbrian Water's chairman, said: "We have learnt so much from the Square Mile Project and so many children and communities benefited.

"Making Waves will hopefully be even more of a success and encourage citizenship among young people of the region.

"It will also involve and empower young people, focusing on their ability to create, evaluate, rationalise and communicate ideas and creativity."

Anyone interested in taking part can contact the Young People's Trust for the Environment on (01483) 539600.