THE good works of teenager Robert Cooper have put him in the running for a national title.

The 18-year-old, of Northallerton, North Yorkshire, has won a place in the finals of a countrywide contest through his work in the community.

A student who attends Northallerton College, he reached the final by coming top in the Lions Club Youth Achievement Awards for the North-East.

Put forward by Thirsk Lions Club, he competed against three other young people at Peterlee, County Durham, and was awarded top prize of £500 to go towards the project of his choice.

At the national final in the Midlands, he will be up against a dozen youngsters who will be put through a weekend programme of group activities, a presentation and an interview.

If he wins, Robert will receive a cheque for £1,000 to go to a favourite project - and he has already decided to donate any prize money to the British Trust Conservation Volunteers, for whom he has done work in the past.

His wide range of outdoor work has ranged from creating a wildlife walk to working with a charity which helps people with learning difficulties.

In what spare time comes his way, Robert enjoys tennis, badminton and swimming. He also belongs to a local gun club.

He was recommended for the competition by Roz Elders, who runs the Northallerton College branch of the Millennium Volunteers, a Government-sponsored body which helps young people to do voluntary work in the community.

Robert, who holds an "excellence award" from the Millennium Volunteers for 200 hours' service, hopes to study for a degree in land management after sitting his A-levels next year.