Young people from Teesdale YMCA with some of their photographs that will go on display at The Witham, in Barnard Castle
Young people from Teesdale YMCA with some of their photographs that will go on display at The Witham, in Barnard Castle

A PROJECT aimed at getting young people out to explore the landscape and learn more about the environment and heritage has culminated in a photographic exhibition.

Funded by Northern Heartlands, the project saw youngsters associated with Teesdale YMCA pick up new photography skills as the explored the world around them.

Their work now forms part of an exhibition at The Witham, in Barnard Castle, which continues to April 27.

Rebecca Pearson, the lead youth worker on the project from the YMCA, said: “It has encouraged our young people to look at things differently, think about the perception of the person looking at the photo as well as them taking the photo.

“There have been conversations and learning with the young people about how this can be applied to real life and how they approach situations. It’s been incredible to watch the young people grow in confidence as we have gone through the project.

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“It was a pleasure to explore new parts of Teesdale and watch as the young people enjoyed more of their local landscape.”

The project recognised that young people are constantly using photography because of social media, but they know very little about the skill. They used different devices to capture their images and learned how to edit them.

Rachel Dyne, YMCA Teesdale operations director, said: “What appears to be a simple project, taking photos of their natural environment and learning how to edit them, has seen our young people walk about the local area, explore their communities, being more active and getting outside. We all know that this has an impact on your mental and emotional well-being.

“We have seen them grow in confidence and skills, learning what happens in order to put on an art exhibition; all transferable skills.”

Ms Dyne added: “We, at YMCA are so proud of everything that they have all achieved. What they have produced are incredible. I would strongly suggest a visit to The Witham during the exhibition.”