YOUNG people across Teesdale are being empowered through an international initiative.

The Rotary Peace Project is a skills-based programme designed to help young people make informed choices whenever they experience conflict or feel bombarded with images about how they should look or behave.

Rotary Peace Advocates Jean and Keith Best delivered training to members of Barnard Castle Rotary, Teesdale YMCA and pupils from local schools.

Delegates developed their own life skills and will be able to train other young people in their communities so they can better resolve the conflicts in their lives– from internal battles with their own thoughts and forms of bullying to national and global conflicts.

The programme has been delivered to community and school groups throughout the UK and in America, Mexico and Europe– but this was the first delivery in the North of England. In 2017 Jean, who developed this programme, was honoured as a Champion of Peace at the United Nations.

Rachel Dyne, operations director of Teesdale YMCA, said: “At YMCA, we were proud to take part in this project and learn the ways in which we can teach young people how to promote peace in all aspects of their lives. YMCA Teesdale and Barnard Castle Rotary Club have a strong relationship and shared values. Projects like this go on to make our links stronger. Thank you to Jean and Keith Best for imparting their wisdom and sharing their training with us. We are excited to get on and deliver this further into the community with the support of the young people who joined us for the training; future leaders for our community.”